Qatar's construction market has exhibited steady quarter-on-quarter growth in the first half of this year, reports from Qatar's Statistics Authority show.
The market has increased from 5.3 billion Qatari riyals (Dh5.34 billion) in the third quarter of 2010 to 6.1 billion riyals in the first quarter of 2011, after a general slowdown in the sector across the Middle East in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis.
New infrastructure projects, which are expected to be announced through 2011 and 2012, are part of Qatar's National Vision 2030 and National Strategy 2011-2016.
Ziad Makzhoumi, CFO of Arabtec, said that Qatar had been focused on trying to attract foreign investment in property, but the sector has slowed down in recent years. Currently the focus is on infrastructure that supports the gas production industry, such as ports and highways, he said. However, according to the National Development Strategy Review and Economic Update, the last major hydrocarbons project is set for completion next year. Projects in non-hydrocarbon sectors will thus become the drivers for GDP growth.
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Makzhoumi said that with Qatar's Fifa World Cup 2022 bid on the horizon, such supportive infrastructure projects have been accelerated, as Qatar expects to host 400,000 visitors for the event. In addition, projects to support the event specifically, such as stadiums and accommodations, must be built.
World Cup schedule
Makzhoumi also said Qatar would be building nine stadiums in preparation for the 2022 World Cup, each taking about three years to be completed. Planning for these would start soon, he said, but bidding on support infrastructure projects has already begun. The projects that make up part of Qatar's World Cup bid will need to be ready earlier for a Fifa inspection.
Chris Corander, the divisional director of the International Quality and Productivity Centre, said in a statement that Qatar, which is the first Arab country to host the World Cup, would be further spurred to achieve its construction goals as the tournament's deadline nears, increasing growth in the sector.
The NDS report also said that large-scale public infrastructure investments have been planned outside the World Cup, and these will create a supportive environment for the construction market beyond 2016.
The construction industry is playing a significant role in contributing to Qatar's economic growth, which increased 28 per cent in the first quarter of 2011.
Qatar will also be hosting the four-day IQPC, a construction sector summit and awards event, in September.