Local connections vital for success in Qatar MEP

New entrants likely to find it difficult to succeed without local help

Qatar will be a tough nut for new entrants to crack says Steven Humphrey of Davis Langdon. Picture: Getty
Qatar will be a tough nut for new entrants to crack says Steven Humphrey of Davis Langdon. Picture: Getty

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New entrants into Qatar’s MEP market will find it difficult to get a foothold in an increasingly competitive market, unless they tie up with local companies an expert has predicted.

In an interview with MEP Middle East, Steven Humphrey, director and head of Program Cost Consultancy in Qatar for Davis Langdon, said that contractors in the country who had a strong background in the local market would always have an advantage over new interlopers because of their well established connections.

“Those who have connections with the likes of Kharaama and Civil Defence on a regular basis, they’ll know what is required and they’ll always be in demand. Clients are less likely to take a risk with a new entrant in the market, unless they’re linked up with a good local partner,” Humphrey explained.

With the projected boom in the Qatari construction industry likely to take place over the next year or so, Humphrey’s scenario becomes increasingly likely as the current market is grossly unprepared for what is to come.

“I think that when all these big projects hit the market, it will be underprepared. The current market is not big enough to cope with all the things that are coming. There will have to be new entrants into the market, particularly when some of the rail and infrastructure projects come online,” he warned.

With this in mind, perhaps linking up with a local partner would be beneficial to new entrants, said Humphrey.

“(I would say), the key is to have a good local partner and connections in the (Qatari) market. There is huge opportunity, but there are a limited number of players in the market with the necessary experience and qualifications, particularly in specialist areas, rather than routine MEP."

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