Money and Banking in Qatar

Qatar Central bank Banknote

Qatar has a well maintained network of local and international banks, Expats generally find it easy to bank in Qatar.

Due largely to revenues generated from natural gas and oil reserves, Qatar enjoys the second highest per capita income in the world.

Banks are extremely well financed, secure and well regulated. The Qatari authorities support domestic banks with direct investments, where necessary.

You can find branches of both national and international banks in Qatar. Large companies and governments sometimes even have banks located on site.

While cash is a popular form of payment for everyday transactions, retail banking services include branch banking, online and telephone banking and the use of credit and debit cards is widespread.

Official banking correspondence and banks statement can be provided both in English and Arabic, the same for bank counter services.

Qatar Banks

Central bank (oversees the commercial banks)

  • Qatar Central Bank

Commercial banks in Qatar

  • Ahli bank
  • Commercial Bank of Qatar
  • Doha Bank
  • Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB)
  • Qatar Islamic Bank
  • Qatar National Bank (QNB)
  • International Bank of Qatar

Foreign banks in Qatar

  • Arab Bank
  • Bank Saderat Iran
  • Barclays Bank
  • BNP Paribas
  • HSBC Bank Middle East
  • Mashreq bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • United Bank Limited (UBL)

 

Bank opening times in Qatar

Banks in Qatar are generally open from 7.30am to 1.00pm (Sunday to Thursday), however a number of banks are also open in the afternoon and on Saturday mornings. The city-centre branches of Qatar's National Bank are generally open both on Fridays and Saturdays.

 

Opening a bank account in Qatar

For Expats who would like to open a bank account in Qatar, the process in relatively simple and stress free. You will need to apply in person at the chosen bank, generally you need to bring:

  • Passport, plus copies of information and visa pages
  • Residency/work permit and copies
  • A 'no objection' letter from the expat's Qatari employer, stating your monthly salary
  • Some banks require two passport photos

Once the application has been approved, the bank will provide you with a letter for your employer, stating that they confirm to receive salary payments into the new account.

Qatar also has an officially-appointed banking ombudsman affiliated with Qatar's Central Bank, accessible to anyone who has a complaint against a bank and is in need of assistance.

 

The main types of bank account in Qatar

There are three main types of accounts used for everyday banking in Qatar:

Current account

Current accounts are typically used for everyday banking. Current accounts generally have no monthly fees, as long as a minimum balance is maintained (around 3,000 QAR or 525 GBP) and many banks offer unlimited transactions. The interest rates paid on current accounts are generally low.

Savings account

Savings account typically pays a higher rate of interest than current accounts, but access to funds may be limited. Banks may allow you only a maximum number of withdrawals from a Savings accounts after which they will charge a fee. Savings accounts typically require a minimum balance of around 5,000 QAR (875 GBP).

Fixed Deposit account

Fixed-deposit accounts are primarily for long-term saving, with interest rates offered typically higher than either current or savings accounts. These accounts may offer limited or no access to funds until the account matures, and minimum account balances can be around 20,000 QAR (3,500 GBP)

 

ATMs in Qatar

Qatar ATM Machine

ATMs are widely available in Qatar, particularly in the major towns and cities, and generally accept a wide variety of both national and international cards. Expect to pay a fee for using ATMs operated by banks other than your own.

There are many ATM's in Qatar, especially in the major towns and cities, most of the ATM's accept both national and international bank cards. Most banks charge a fee for using the ATM's with a foreign bank card. Most ATM's can be operated in both Arabic and English.

 

Cheques in Qatar

As of May 2010, it is not allowed to post-date cheques anymore which can cause difficulties for the tenants of rented properties in Qatar as it was common practice to issue a series of post-dated checques to the landlord for the duration of the tenancy.

 

Going overdrawn in Qatar

Make sure you never overdraw your bank account, if this happens and it concerns a small amount, the bank might authorize the payment or the bank will only pay the amount which is on your bank account. Either way, you will be charged a substantial fee and they will question you about the incident as it is considered a serious criminal offence and the bank may notify the police.

 

Money transfers to and from Qatar

You can transfer money in Qatar by using a bank and by using a wide variety of specialist money transfer companies. Check their fee structure and exchange rates first before you transfer money.

 

Banking in Qatar - complaints

If you have a complaint against a bank and need help, you can contact Qatar’s Central Bank: www.qcb.gov.qa www.qcb.gov.qa

 

Money in Qatar

The currency used in Qatar is the riyal (QAR), which is subdivided into 100 dirhams.

Notes: 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500

Coins: 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 (1, 5 and 10 dirham coins are not largely circulated)

The Qatari Riyal is pegged against the US dollar at QR 3.64 (fixed rate)

 

Banks in Qatar

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