From October 2014 to February 2015, Locus Economica was engaged by Buro Happold, Tanween and Manateq to help advise the government of Qatar on the establishment of three Qatar Economic Zones (QEZs), each targeting selected industries to help Qatar diversify its economy away from dependence on oil and gas industries. Based on its experience with, and review of, international best practices, Locus Economica provided the following services:
- Designed an autonomous zones regulatory authority and evaluated alternative frameworks.
- Developed a value proposition for each zone based on its location, strategic focus, logistics capabilities, demand, etc.
- Designed an organizational framework, functions, and standard operating procedures for developers and operators of each zone.
- Provided guidance on the formation of a marketing and investor-attraction strategy for the zones, including advice on attracting anchor tenants.
- Developed an implementation strategy and risk/mitigation analysis for each QEZ.
- Proposed a commercial, trade, and fiscal incentive framework for the QEZs.
QEZ 1 will be located adjacent to the Hamad International Airport in Doha. While primarily targeting advanced technology and logistics industries desiring proximity to airports and seaports, the zones will be fully integrated, complete with housing, retail, social infrastructure, and public transportation links to urban areas.