In what is its first business alliance in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar, Aviva Life Insurance has secured a tie-up with Doha Bank as part of its bancassurance expansion initiative.

The development is a significant next step in the expansion of the India-based arm of UK insurance market leader Aviva. The agreement will ensure that Aviva’s products will now be available in 40 locations in Doha.

Bancassurance is an important distribution channel for Aviva and contributes close to 65% to Aviva’s business in India. We are confident that Aviva will emerge as one of the leading insurance players in the Middle East in [the] near future, Anil Sahgal, director of bancassurance and business partnerships for Aviva Life Insurance, commented.

Aviva’s announcement comes just a day after UK lender Barclay’s revealed that it was to establish a presence in Qatar for the first time, having secured a license to operate in the country. Barclay’s said its entry into Qatar will be its first significant expansion in the Middle East banking sector for 30 years.