Qatar puts joint initiatives, funding on the table to woo investors
Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), in partnership with Qatar Development Bank (QDB), yesterday announced investment opportunities for private firms in six ventures under the tourism sector in the country. QDB will provide financial assistance up to QR100mn for an investor.
The investment opportunities are for setting up luxury dhow dining cruise, luxury coach companies, 4x4 leasing units, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events); professional congress organiser and destination management services, ticketing systems and information distribution and roving cottage market/bazaar.
QDB will provide financing and non-financing support for investors in these projects. Investors have the opportunity to bid for them until May this year.
QDB will provide 70% of the investment for each project with a maximum loan of QR100mn. The investors have to provide a minimum of 30% of the total investment and the loan period is for 15 years.
QTA chairman Issa bin Mohamed al-Mohannadi said the partnership would help in promoting many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Qatar.
“The QTA-QDB partnership will study, evaluate and execute a number of projects and provide investment opportunities for private sector to play an active role in the tourism industry. This is just the first phase of the opportunities and many more are in the pipeline.”
Al-Mohannadi observed that these efforts would help develop tourism sector in the country.
“This is part of our larger endeavour to reach international standards and promote Qatar in a big way. The agreement with United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO ) is also helping us in this regard,” he added.
QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa was of the view that this opportunity would ensure an increased participation of the private sector in the tourism industry in the country.
“The new tourism strategy has identified the prevailing gaps in the sector and we are partnering with QTA to overcome these issues. We have also identified many more opportunities of investment that will be announced at later stages.”
During a question-answer session, Hassan al-Ibrahim, QTA’s director of strategy, said the bids of all firms would be treated equally and preference be given to investors with experience in each sector.
“We are here to support private sector and provide opportunities small and medium enterprises and we have no other interests. We will support anyone with necessary experience. In the process we will give preference for Qatari companies if they fulfil all the requirements.”
The procurement process for the projects starts immediately. The whole process will last for over four months. The Request For Proposal (RFP) for each project will be issued from this month. The bids will be received until May this year and they will be evaluated in May and June. The selection and negotiation of the bids will take place from June to July and the whole process will be completed by August this year.