How can I set up my online business in Qatar?

How can I set up my online business in Qatar?

- Connor Hayes

Qatar’s E-Commerce Market

Qatar’s e-Commerce market offers a huge amount of potential and opportunity for those looking to set up a company or expand their business. Figures released by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC), valued Qatar’s e-Commerce market at US$ 1.3 billion in 2017, and revealed that the market is expected to grow to US$ 3.2 billion in the next five years. In 2017, the e-commerce market grew by 14% compared to the previous year.

Boasting a population with high levels of disposable income, high internet speed as well as 99% internet penetration rate, the state of Qatar offers opportune conditions for e-Commerce adoption. The average e-Commerce transaction value in Qatar is $260USD with travel, electronics and fashion being the main product categories purchased online.

Qatar’s e-Commerce Program

Qatar’s e-Commerce program aims to help enable a favourable environment for e-Commerce uptake, by establishing governance mechanisms which will steer and encourage expansion Qatar-based online trade.

The e-Commerce program objectives and road map have been compiled through a process involving local, regional and international businesses with an interest in Qatari e-Commerce – from product and service creation, to online purchasing, order fulfilment and delivery.

At the end of 2019, The Minister of Transport and Communications (MoTC), H E Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, and Minister of Commerce and Industry, H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, launched ‘Theqa’ - the new website of Qatar’s e-commerce gateway. The portal is a non-profit and voluntary government programme, that is designed to stimulate Qatar’s e-commerce sector and develop local online retail sales by encouraging residents to trust the country’s e-commerce ecosystem.

How do I obtain Theqa’s trustmark?

Every eMerchant in Qatar is eligible to display the badge of Theqa, the eCommerce trustmark. To obtain the trustmark, local companies or e-commerce business must meet a set of standards. The portal evaluates the participating company’s website to ensure it meets Theqa’s security and safety requirements and guarantees that services on offer are according to specifications. Companies can then be granted a certificate and a trustmark, which is subject to annual renewal on Theqa’s website.

Theqa works to ensure that local websites provide clear data and information to customers including consumer rights, privacy policy and terms and conditions of service. Through the new website, the Ministry plays an integral role in serving the program’s goals by providing a central resource for information, communication and support for both eMerchants and eShoppers. This includes a list of website providers, e-payment gateways and logistics providers, support, coaching, incubation and corporate finance programs, opportunities and initiatives, as well as best online shopping practices and tips that ensure a secure and reliable online shopping experience.

How do I set up an E-Commerce Business?

To become an official eMerchant in Qatar, you must register your business with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), the Qatar Financial Center (QFC) or Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP). Venture Partner Qatar can assist in registering your company and helping to find the right solution for your business.

With several further policies and procedures, businesses can also register domains and trademarks. You can also apply for the Theqa eCommerce Trustmark. Through its eCommerce Regulatory Framework, Qatar is currently working to simplify the business registration process, as well as increase transparency and support for eMerchants.

Online businesses can register their domains with the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), the Qatar Domains Registry that governs all Qatar-specific Internet domains.

Mobile commerce is shaping the future of ecommerce in Qatar, but also around the world. E-Commerce sellers should bear this in mind when setting up their online stores and product listings. Mobile optimisation and great mobile buying experience are a must for online seller

Venture Partner Qatar keeping you updated

Venture Partner Qatar can will keep clients and contacts in Qatar up to date with relevant Ministry guidelines. For more information, please speak to one of our team members on +974 4478 8765 or email info@vpqatar.com

Get in touch with Connor Hayes

Share this article