Qatar plans to invest more than $200 billion in construction projects with focus on transport and tourism infrastructure and expansion of the Doha airport as the country enters a critical phase of its preparations to host Fifa World Cup in 2022, according to a report.
Having been selected to host the FIFA World Cup brought forth the opportunity for Qatar to position itself as a regional sporting hub, said a report by Deloitte entitled ‘Insight into the Qatar construction market and opportunities for real estate developers'.
Qatar National Vision 2013 and programs such as Q2022 are focusing on leaving a legacy for Qatar in terms of football, infrastructure and economic development, stated the top financial advisory firm in its report.
The Deloitte report examines the construction market in Qatar and assesses opportunities for real estate developers in the country. It also looks into the government's strategy of promoting sustainable tourism with the purpose of attracting more tourists and visitors.
Projects such as the Qatar-Bahrain causeway is an example of this strategy, as it will help drive regional tourist arrivals in Qatar, said the report.
On the infrastructure side, Deloitte said Qatar plans to pump in more than $140 billion to develop its transport infrastructure ahead of the FIFA Cup 2022. "Plans to construct new roads and a metro system have been put forth in order to support the anticipated influx of football visitors in addition to the airport expansion which is already underway," it stated.
Deloitte experts expect this influx to also bring with it an increased demand for accommodation, with numerous worldwide chain hotels actively considering investments in the country.
In fact, Qatar Tourism Authority plans to invest about $20 billion on tourism infrastructure as the number of tourist arrivals grows at a rate of 15.9 per cent compounded annually, to reach 3.7 million by 2022. This growth also creates opportunities for the development of commercial units, such as various shopping malls around Qatar.
Environmental sustainability has become a key item in the government's agenda. One of the key goals for the Q2022 program is to improve environmental sustainability, not only limited to the event but also for the entire country.
The Deloitte report said the program may deliver a new environmental sustainability standard and improve nationwide awareness.
It is evident that immense opportunities exist for developers in the region and beyond, due in part to the infrastructure requirements of the FIFA World Cup 2022, and also as part of realizing Qatar's national vision.
Jesdev Saggar, the managing director, Infrastructure & Capital Projects at Deloitte Corporate Finance Limited said: “With the world focused on Qatar's every move, it is imperative that the local industry prepares itself for the plethora of international organizations that are ready to descend on Doha. Preparing for the competition is as important to everyone on the built environment, as it will be when the games start.”
These findings are in line with the “GCC Powers of Construction: Meeting the challenges of delivering mega projects” report issued by Deloitte during May 2013, he explained.
According to Deloitte, Qatar was the third most active GCC construction market in 2012, with $10.4 billion worth of contracts awarded.
Transport infrastructure dominated the country's construction sector, with four of the five biggest contracts awarded for major transport projects. Hosting the FIFA 2022 World Cup should yield considerable contracts across the construction and infrastructure sectors, the report stated.
“With significant investment in major infrastructure programs increasing over the coming years across the GCC, contractors, consultants and clients alike need to rethink the way they engage each other if they are to truly realize the benefits each can bring to the process,” remarked Cynthia Corby, audit partner and leader of the construction industry for the Middle East.
"As to Qatar, successful bidders will have to take into consideration a number of factors such as alignment with the 2022 program strategic objectives, adherence to sustainability and health and safety standards, innovation, quality and with an overall focus on the legacy theme, which is embedded in the strategy for delivering the Qatar 2022 World Cup," added Corby.