Have you got a slice of Qatar?
Project Qatar 2010 starts this week, would your absence cost you?
With Qatar being of sustainable size and not ridden with debts of mammoth proportions, it has been one of the few GCC countries to stand its ground amid the tumultuous economic downturn.
Finding work in the Middle East construction sector has been the “biggest challenge” for most contractors according to a ConstructionWeekOnline.com survey, with Qatar emerging as one of the top three places contractors look for work, along with Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
Speaking to CW, Philippe Dessoy, general manager of Belgian construction major Six Construct, which also has an office in Qatar, confirmed that the country was second on the company’s list for job prospects.
“Its definitely one of the places where most contractors are looking for work,” he said. “We have won several jobs here in the past year or so and if one was to add up the value of contracts we have in Qatar, it comes up to about US $824 million (QR3 billion). We also set up our own ready mix company three years ago – United Ready Mix – which is doing quite well.”
Clearly Qatar is a “positive” market to be in currently, but on the flip side, would one be missing out on possible opportunities if they weren’t present at, let’s say, property exhibitions, in some shape or form? Dessoy seems to be in two minds and says it depends on the current status of the company in the region.
“For established contractors like us, it isn’t that important to be present at these exhibitions because we already know everyone in the industry or at least 80% of them. But for new comers looking to break into the market, construction and property exhibitions are a good place to be as this is where one gathers all the information about what’s going on, who to meet and what needs to be done to get into the system,” he explains.
And exhibitions like these are what give us an insight into projects that are being planned for the country. For a start a large chunk of the capital city Doha, is currently being rebuilt to reduce urban sprawl.
Ground breaking on the Musheireb project, previously known as the Heart of Doha, took place in January and the completion of the development is expected to mark the return of Qatar’s old link between the communities and their environment.
“Skyscrapers and isolated living compounds are not the communities we aspire to in Doha. We therefore decided to revive our past, rediscover our traditions, and regenerate the communities we have lost in this world,” said Dohaland CEO Issa Al Mohannadi.
“We will do this by combining the spirit and aesthetic of yesterday with environmentally friendly and sustainable know-how of tomorrow.”
The mixed-use development will contain 226 buildings and will be home to 27,637 residents. It will also have a dedicated tramway, with a combination of commercial and residential properties, retail, cultural and entertainment areas.
The project, which will spread across 350,000 m², will be completed in five phases, with the first phased due for completion by 2012 and the entire project is due to be complete by 2016.
A new mixed-use development in Lusail – Qatar’s newest city and an extension of Doha – is also set to begin this year, following KEO International Consultants’ design contract win last month.
The waterfront project, valued at around $800 million will offer 160,000m² of commercial space, 130,000m² of office space and 30,000m² for retail. A residential area covers a further 87,000m² and comprises 640 apartments as well as 27, four-bedroom townhouses.
Diyar Al Kuwait’s planned schedule for the project is ‘aggressive but do-able’ according to Dherar Al Nisf, project manager at the developer, with work set to begin on site in late 2010. The conceptual architectural design has been approved and the development is now going into the detailed design phase.
KEO is also providing project management services to the development, which is yet to be named.
The project is located in the southeastern corner of the Lusail’s Marina District, roughly 20km north of the planned Doha International Airport.
On that note, phase one of the US $7 billion New Doha International Airport (NDIA) is currently set to be completed by 2011. It is set to fulfil three critical roles once complete: to make Qatar a global gateway; serve as the hub for Qatar Airways and other airlines; and provide a cargo and aircraft maintenance centre.
It will be one of the first airports in the world to accommodate unrestricted operations by all commercial aircraft, including the new A380 airliner that will soon be added to Qatar Airways’ fleet.
When the 22km² airport opens in 2011, it will have two runways (4850m and 4250m) in addition to a giant passenger terminal and concourse measuring 600,000m² and providing 41 contact gates. Other facilities include the Emiri Terminal, air traffic control tower and cargo complex.
Over the next few years, Qatar expects tourist arrivals to increase by a powerful 150%. The driving force behind this strong tourism sector expansion is a government plan to develop tourism in Qatar as an essential component of an ambitious economic diversification drive.
Qatar’s hotel industry expects the number of hotel rooms in the country to grow by 300% as a result of the tourism industry push. Qatar’s own population is also growing fast. Together, Qatar’s expanding tourism sector and growing housing unit demands are fuelling an unprecedented construction sector expansion which is attracting top international investors and a steady flow of high-power investment.
The country is full of internationally-acclaimed multi-billion-dollar development projects. International real estate companies are billing Qatar as a top location and can barely keep up with client demand.
In the next few years, Qatar’s hotel industry is going to require dozens of new luxury hotels, to keep up with the increase in tourist arrivals. This in turn is creating growing demand for a complete range of building materials, equipment, technology, systems and machinery.
- Six Construct jobs in Qatar
- US $467 million Exhibition Centre
- US $220 million Qatari Diar Convention centre
- US $274 million quay walls at Ras Laffan
Big budget Doha projects:
- New Doha International Airport - $11 billion
- Lusail - $5.5 billion
- Doha Metro - $3 billion
- Barwa City - $1.35 billion
- Doha Convention Centre and Tower - $1.5 billion