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Discovering entrepreneurship in Qatar

Ahmad Al-Kuwari, owner and co-founder of KAVA Koffee, explains what makes a good entrepreneur and shares advice and success tips for starting a new business.

Discovering entrepreneurship in Qatar

Meet Ahmad, owner and co-founder of KAVA

Three years ago, I decided to open KAVA. Being a coffee aficionado myself and having a diploma in speciality coffee, I know my business when it comes to offering good coffee!

Qatar is my home. Every time I travel, I want to come back; for me, it's the best place to live in.

Discovering entrepreneurship in Qatar
Ahmad Al-Kuwari Owner and co-founder of KAVA Koffee
Discovering entrepreneurship in Qatar

My Qatar

I was born and raised in Qatar, and there are many things I love about the country. It's a truly peaceful place to live, safe, relaxed and easy-going. It also has one of the best coffee scenes in the region! The food scene is remarkably rising; it's rich and diverse. Moreover, the country presents an impressive fine arts scene, and there is always something happening, from cultural exhibitions and food festivals to entertainment shows and, of course, sports events.

How easy is to build your own business in Qatar?

Well, it is challenging. It's important to highlight that the continuity of a business is the biggest challenge; if you cross the three-year mark, then you're doing good!

Qatar supports new businesses and start-ups, especially on innovation and technology, energy and industry. Qatar Development Bank, Qatar Energy and Ministry of Commerce and Industry encourage entrepreneurship and provide funding and support to entrepreneurs planning to do business in the fields mentioned above.

Advice to people who want to open their own business

  1. Realize a good market assessment and come up with something that will identify you; identify your unique selling points.  
  2. Expand with care and smart objectives.
  3. Develop the concept. Your concept has to be clear and concrete.
  4. Know your audience and target the right customers.
  5. Develop a niche brand.
  6. Finalize your branding.
  7. Develop a detailed business plan and answer questions such as how many employees you are going to need. As work progresses, expand your business plan.
  8. Calculate all expenses carefully
  9. Choose your location wisely 
  10. Finalize documents, certificates and licenses from ministries, get all necessary approvals.
  11. Obey health certificates and rules.

Opening your own business in the Food & Beverage sector will take you approximately six months. If it's not your first time, the process can be shorter, as you have the experience and you know where to go and who to ask.

Starting a new business can be challenging but also very rewarding!

Discovering entrepreneurship in Qatar
Ahmad Al-Kuwari Owner and co-founder of KAVA Koffee

KAVA: The ingredients of success

When we started, we wanted to come up with a concept that it's very specific but also approachable and accessible to everyone. We established that very well. We call ourselves a successful business, and here are some of the reasons:

  • We deeply appreciate our customers, and we have established an excellent relationship with them.
  • Our employees are stable and know their customers. That's so important as people get to see familiar faces every day, people who know their preferences.
  • We know how to make coffee; coffee that's done well.
  • People treat us as their second home, they see us and we see them as family; you see the same people daily. It's a routine for them.

Travel tips

  • Rent a car; it is much easier to move around this way.
  • Find accommodation in West Bay; the area is close to everything.
  • From the end of November to February, there are so many things happening! Various events are taking place in open spaces, and the weather is beautiful. Enjoy a walk around the Pearl or Lusail, and make sure you attend festivals!

Must-visit places when in Qatar

You have to visit Souq Waqif, the thriving market and one of Doha'sDoha's most popular attractions. You can find anything you want, from souvenirs to dates and nuts, spices, textiles and fabrics. You can also dine in one of the many local restaurants or have an Arabic coffee.

Katara Cultural Village should be your next stop! There are so many things to do and explore there. Visit the distinctive Katara Mosque, discover the Amphitheatre, enjoy a walk at Katara Hills, have lunch or dinner in one of the many restaurants, indulge in some shopping in Galeries Lafayette or just walk by the beach.

A must-visit is also Doha Fire Station, ideal for art enthusiasts. Doha Fire Station features various exhibitions and promotes constructive artistic dialogues.

The Museum of Islamic Art is definitely a place you need to see, as it's one of the country's most significant landmarks that showcases 14 centuries of Islamic art and artefacts from around the world.

Lastly, I suggest you spend a day at the Inland Sea, a truly remarkable place for escaping the city's hassle.

Don't miss out!

If you're looking for amazing restaurants in Qatar, make sure to visit the below; they're hidden gems!

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Discovering entrepreneurship in Qatar