Rich future

Doha is one of the most confident construction markets in the GCC

Doha is one of the markets that has been least affected by a global slowdown.
Doha is one of the markets that has been least affected by a global slowdown.

Doha is one of the most confident construction markets in the GCC. CW finds out what’s new in Qatar.

Depending on your source of information, Qatar either has the highest GDP per capita in the world or it’s in the top three.

Either way, it’s safe to assume that Qatar is a country with enough financial potential to realise construction projects, even in the reduced circumstances being reported across the world.

According to Deloitte Middle East’s GCC Powers of Construction 2009 report, the future looks very bright, with Qatar overall predicted to see its construction sector grow by 17%, thanks to gas revenues.

“In the future, governments are most likely to be the dominant force in breathing life into their respective countries’ construction sectors,” said Deloitte Corporate Finance construction and capital projects advisory leader Rizwan Shah.

“Through leveraging their reserves, they will be able to stimulate their economies to create opportunities for construction and development - emphasising again that, education and healthcare as well as infrastructure are likely to be the sectors where most demand for building will lie in the future. Another emerging trend linked to this scenario is the increasing occurrence of public-private partnerships.”

In fact, reports suggest that Qatar is the most confident construction market within the GCC. A survey of 3000 GCC projects by Proleads, released in spetemeber, suggested that just 5% of projects had been placed on hold or cancelled, compared to a GCC-wide average of around 18%.

Tenders are still flowing thick and fast. Qatar National Bank’s submission date for the main construction contract closed at the end of October.

The project is worth a total of US $250 million. Meanwhile, the end of October saw Qatar’s Public Works Authority, Ashghal, sign 16 contracts worth $412 million that will see a variety of schools, earthworks, road improvements and sewage mains constructed.

Schools appear to be growing in importance in the contracting stage. In Q3 2009, Combined Group for Trading and Contracting picked up a $63 million order for five schools on Doha’s outskirts. The project is estimated to be delivered in Q3 2011.

Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance Company is also preparing to issue a tender for the $200 million Doha World Trade Centre tower.

The project, located opposite the Sheraton hotel on Doha corniche involves the construction of a 50 storey tower with four basement levels of parking and a total built up area of 140,000m2.

Meanwhile, big news has been the sale of Qatar Engineering and Construction Company (QCon) to a Qatar-Bahraini consortium.

Qatar America Asia Consortium (QAAC), Bahrain-based Unicorn Investment Bank, Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) and The First Investor (TFI) acquired 100% of QCon from Qatar Shipping. QAAC is the co-originator of the transaction, with Unicorn acting as co-originator and arranger.

“We are proud to have formed a strategic alliance with three of the region’s leading financial institutions to acquire QCon, and we are confident that the consortium will be able to add tremendous value to the company as it enters the next phase of its growth,” says QAAC chairman Shaikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Jabor Al Thani.

Top projects                                             US$
New Doha International Airport           11bn
Lusail                                                      5.5bn
The Pearl Qatar                                        5bn
Doha Metro                                                3bn
Doha Convention Centre and Tower 1.5bn

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