Project Qatar Industry Review – December 2014



Qatar Construction Review – construction companies in Qatar

Qatari Authorities Finish The Year Astonishingly Strong

In October this year there were reports that The Public Works Authority had the Prime Minister and Interior Minister, H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, requesting them to complete infrastructure projects on time. The Premier noted in particular the need for progress with projects such as access roads to new areas, workers accommodation, water supply, drainage and landfill. In essence, the many projects that play a supporting and indeed vital role to the grand infrastructure plans of the country and those that improve the wider quality of life for the population.

Fast forward six weeks and anyone who was not completely sure that the Qatari authorities will always deliver would have been left in no doubt that they can and are absolutely determined to – on schedule. In their 2013 – 2014 Annual Report the Public Works Authority awarded projects worth $10.5bn, which represented a rise of almost 198% compared to contracting awards valued at $3.5bn for the preceding period 2012-13. News roads, drainage systems, educations facilities and healthcare centres are some of the works to be commenced.

In addition to all of that, last Thursday it was announced that The Public Works Authority had also signed 12 construction contracts worth $1.5bn for the building and development of integrated infrastructure, networks and sewage treatment facilities. On the same day we also learned that a further $3.8bn worth of contracts went towards a new container port as part of the New Port Project.

So as the pace of the Qatari authorities set this year shows no signs of abating, forecasters have already predicted that the value of contract awards for next year will more than double those for the already impressive 2014.

In fact, the real issues for construction companies in Qatar could concern the timely availability of raw building materials. Other factors to be considered are the availability of enough skilled people and the financial constraints, which mainly concern subcontractors. For those reasons, market capacity could fall behind levels of demand. This is an issue concerning the whole of the GCC. However, delays in the client decision making process is now less of a factor leading to projects falling behind on aggregate, as it was six months ago.

Local and international construction companies will really have to address these issues ahead of time. We might also see greater consolidation in some areas of the supply chain. We at Qatar Construction Review actually expected to see more mergers like the planned Holcim-Lafarge deal announced back in April and scheduled to be finalised in the middle of next year. That merger would create the biggest cement manufacturer on the planet if it passes regulatory consent from the 15 different jurisdictions.

Looking ahead to 2015, undoubtedly Qatar will continue to offer fantastic opportunities for international construction companies in Qatar. It is the fastest growing construction market in the region and looks likely to be so for several more years. That said, competition is strong for Qatar construction companies and perhaps now is the time for some contractors to gain a reputation for being able to deliver their expertise and gain an advantage.

Five months away from the 12th edition of the standout construction trade show – Project Qatar and already the importance of this edition is very clear for us. The Qatari authorities for sure will press on with their unprecedented infrastructure investment, the country being insulated from political and economic issues affecting other parts of the region and world.

For Qatar to meet its 2030 National Vision plans, this is the moment in time that really matters. It will be down to the construction companies in Qatar to deliver, as government spending levels will continue to grow. There is lucrative work for international contractors who are able to demonstrate their particular expertise. Thus Project Qatar in 2015 will represent unprecedented opportunities for companies in Qatar.


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