High liquidity leads to Qatar infrastructure boom

Published March 7th, 2006 - 06:09 GMT

Investment in Qatar, which will amount to a $120 billion injection into the country’s infrastructure, will increasingly be driven by the non-energy sector, according to experts tabled to speak at MEED’s Major Non-Energy Project Opportunities in Qatar conference, March 26 – 27, in Doha.


The fruits of the country’s booming economy, which has seen GDP double in the last five years, are to be seen in investment across all sectors, through to education and healthcare facilities.


The conference is being held under the patronage of Qatar’s Minister of Economy & Commerce, Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani, who will give the keynote address, and will cover all key non-energy sectors.


Angus Hindley, the conference chairman, said: “Construction is likely to peak this year, as the backlog of projects now enters the construction phase. Meanwhile, more than $10 billion of public funds are being pumped into roads, sewerage and a new airport, in a four-year infrastructure upgrade aimed at addressing the needs of a rapidly expanding economy.


“At the same time, the private sector is investing billions of dollars in new residential, commercial and hotel space to cater for the influx of companies, professionals and visitors.”


Playing an important role in the development of the infrastructure is Ashghal, the public works authority. Managing director Zayed Mansour Al-Khayyarin will use his conference presentation to give a status report on multiple projects, as well as announce new contracts.


The Ashghal presentation will also cover roads and highways, drainage and sewerage, hospitals and healthcare, and education facilities.


Mohamed Farghaly, minister’s advisor to the Ministry of Economy & Commerce, will announce a major new initiative to develop a free zone project in Qatar during his session on the first day.


The second day will focus on construction and real estate, including sessions on Al Waab City, Qatar Tourism and the Qatar Foundation.


Sheikha Hanadi Al Thani, CEO of Al Waab City, will give a progress report on the 1.2 million square metre mixed-use development, as well as detailing the project’s masterplan.


Jan Poul de Boer, acting director general of the Qatar Tourism Authority, will detail the development of much-needed hotel room stock to meet Qatar’s rising number of tourists.

By the start of the Asian Games in December, about 1,000 additional hotel rooms will be added to the 2,600 currently available.

This is in addition to the 20 per cent expansion in Qatar’s residential stock – a challenge that had seen rents spiral until the government impose a 10 per cent ceiling on rent increases.

Much of the tourism boom can be attributed to Qatar Airways’ expansion to become one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, as well as initiatives such as The Pearl Qatar – with a project update to come from development director Nick Bashkiroff.


Dr Saif Al Hajari, vice chairman of Qatar Foundation, will explain the private sector involvement in Education City as the government brings the world’s leading academic institutions to Doha.


Major Non-Energy Project Opportunities in Qatar, one of MEED’s headline conferences, will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani, Minister of Economy and Commerce in Qatar. The conference will be held at the Four Seasons, Doha on March 26 - 27.


Gold sponsors are Al Waab City, Commercialbank and Qatar National Bank, while Hyder Consulting is an exhibitor.


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