As elsewhere in the Gulf, wholesale and retail operations in Qatar are frequently combined in the same enterprise. There are a relatively small number of large companies that control most of the retail market, particularly in food imports and distribution. Consumer cooperative societies have also been established for food retail sales. Local laws require that commercial agents be of Qatari nationality; however, a 2000 law has opened up more possibilities for foreign investors. Consumer advertising can be displayed in motion picture theaters, in the press, and on billboards. Radio and television services do not accept advertising.
Normal business hours are from 7:30 AM to 12 noon and from 3:30 to 6 PM . Government offices are open from 7 AM to 2 PM , Saturday through Wednesday. Banks are open from 8 to 12:30 AM . Private sector business hours are usually 8 AM to 12:30 PM and 4 PM to 7:30 PM , Saturday through Thursday. Most businesses are closed on Friday.