The Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (IPA Qatar) and UBS have agreed to support the establishment by UBS of a Business Solutions Hub in Qatar, in addition to the newly created UBS Wealth Management Office in Doha, which opened its doors to regional clients last April.
Marking a strategic step in the collaboration between IPA Qatar and UBS, this agreement builds on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in November 2020, which aims to further strengthen Qatar’s position as a leading financial services hub by accelerating the growth of UBS operations in the State and supporting its expansion in the Middle East.
The launch of a Business Solutions Hub contributes to advancing the financial digitisation in Qatar, while supporting the local talent development, as up to 200 digital experts will be employed over the next few years. Equally significant, the Hub serves UBS’s expansion strategy in the Middle East through providing a centralised data and solution platform for regional clients’ services and products.
Accelerating growth of
financial services in Qatar
The launch of the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030) in 2008, with an overarching mandate of fostering a diversified and knowledge-based economy, has been a key catalyst to growing the financial services sector in Qatar. Today, this sector has become one of the major contributors to Qatar’s economy. It is ranked 2nd after the hydro-carbon industry, with $14 bn sector contribution to GDP, approximately 7% of the country’s GDP in 2018. The sector has witnessed substantial growth since then, widening its scope across different sectors, such as Islamic Finance and financial technology (Fintech). Qatar’s Islamic finance assets grew by a CAGR of 8% since 2015 to $129 billion in H1 2019, constituting 33% of Qatar’s total financial system assets, reflecting significant growth opportunities. Similarly, Qatar has been bolstering the fintech landscape, establishing some of the most significant fintech incubators and support programmes in the region.
With Qatar’s continuous economic growth, which is poised to be the highest among GCC countries according to the World Bank (4.8% in 2022 and 4.9% in 2023), the demand for financial services grows accordingly. Through a string of remarkable economic, legislative, and regulatory reforms, Qatar has developed a world-class climate for business and investment, offering several benefits including but not restricted to, zero tax on personal income, tax holidays, and no restrictions on profit repatriation. The country provides a conducive financial services industry, which has attracted renowned international institutions, such as Credit Suisse, HSBC, EY and Intesa Sanpaolo among others. The strength of Qatar’s financial services industry is evidenced by the growing interest of some of the world’s largest financial institutions, such as UBS.