The Future of Banking in Qatar: Opportunities & Strategies

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LUSAIL, QATAR - UNDATED: In this handout image released by the 2022 Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar's 2022 FIFA World Cup Lusail Stadium is seen under construction. The 85,000 seater venue will be complete by 2020 and host opening and final games in 2022. (Photo by 2022 Supreme Committee for the Delivery & Legacy for the FIFA World Cup Event via Getty Images)

From $25 billion budget to revamp infrastructure ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to massively expanding LNG output capacity to add $40 billion to revenues by 2024, Qatar has set its sights on being among the biggest economies in the region and creating a safe and lucrative investment atmosphere.

The gas-rich Gulf nation, home to some of the biggest lenders, is also eyeing worldwide acquisitions in a range of sectors, including technology and real estate. The country’s GDP and consumer-price index have seen a positive growth in the last one year, boosting the ambitions of the country’s large sovereign fund. The Qatar Investment Authority has been steadily diverting investments into global portfolio of trophy assets, including the iconic St. Regis New York hotel.

Worldwide, bankers and investors now agree that the deals coming up in Qatar are too lucrative to miss. All this aligns perfectly with the Qatar National Vision 2030.

And banks, financial institutions and regulatory bodies create the basic underlying structure of all that Qatar is trying to achieve.

Under such a thriving economic scenario, the 13th Qatar Edition of the New-Age Banking Summit is back with a vibrant and wide-ranging agenda.

The 2020 summit will delve deeper into the challenges faced by the industry, identifying risks and exploring new opportunities.

Qatar is likely to introduce value-added tax (VAT) at a standard rate of 5% in line with the Gulf Cooperation Council VAT Framework (GCC Framework) – a move that is set to affect all businesses and profit margins of banks. How will the financing industry navigate this challenge?

Read: Biggest LNG producer targets 64% jump in capacity by 2027

The summit will also address critical developments in the banking sector in Qatar and the wider Middle East, particularly in financial markets, regulatory cooperation, RegTech, FinTech, blockchain, cybersecurity, AI, Islamic finance, anti-money laundering efforts and other emerging trends.

Innovation and forward thinking remain the key factors for financial institutions, caught between an uncertain world economy, fast digitisation and growing costs. Revenue and profit generation, business growth, financial resilience and shareholder value are among other key imperatives.

Over the last decade, NABS has repeatedly identified future patterns transforming the industry and fuelling innovation, thereby staying ahead of the curve. The unique event attracts C-suite and senior executives from banks, regulatory bodies and consultancies.

The Qatar NABS is one of the largest banking summits in the region bringing leaders, experts and policymakers on a single platform.

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