Qatar will allow foreigners to own property, the latest in a series of measures aimed to stimulate the gas-rich country’s economy more than a year into its boycott by Gulf neighbours.

Under a new law issued Tuesday by Qatar’s Emir Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Al Thani, foreigners will be able to own property in areas designated by Qatar’s cabinet, according to the official Qatar News Agency.

Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, has used its wealth to blunt the effects of an embargo imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt in June 2017. Its economy is growing, the stock index recouped losses, and its $200 billion (Dh735 billion) infrastructure upgrade to prepare for the 2022 World Cup hasn’t been interrupted.

The rebound hasn’t trickled down to the property and tourism industries. While real estate prices increased 4 per cent in the third quarter after sliding to a four-year low in the second quarter, they’re still down 20 per cent since 2016.

In addition to opening up the property market, Qatar has allowed 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies, relaxed entry visa requirements and introduced permanent residency for expatriates. Other countries in the region that rely on oil and gas have introduced similar measures to wean their economies off energy exports.

Real estate prices are down across the Arabian Gulf since oil prices declined nearly four years ago. The UAE reduced fees on businesses, loosened visa rules and proposed incentives to boost the economy this year. The measures have boosted the confidence of real estate developers.

— Bloomberg