Qatar announces new residency scheme for investors

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Qatar announced Monday it will grant residency to foreign investors for the first time, state media reported, the latest in a series of measures designed to diversify the economy.

Foreigners investing an unspecified level of "non-Qatari capital" in the economy will be eligible for renewable five-year residency permits, the state-run Qatar News Agency reported.

Real estate developers active in Qatar's property market will also be eligible for the scheme, under the new law.

Previously, investors were required to be sponsored by a Qatari business or individual to obtain residency.

The move comes at a time of political crisis in the Gulf, with Qatar under an economic and diplomatic boycott by neighbouring countries for the past two years.

Monday's reforms are the latest effort by Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, to secure new revenues since the Gulf crisis took hold.

Qatar has increased business with existing trade partners outside the region, announced plans to produce more gas and sought new markets.

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