Qatar has awarded $22.5-billion contracts in the first nine months and with several infrastructure projects lined up for launch in the final quarter, the value could swell up to $30 billion for the very first time, said a report.
The value of contracts awarded in the nine months to September is much greater than the $22.3-billion contracts awarded for the whole of 2013, as the local projects market accelerates in preparation for the 2022 Fifa World Cup, stated the data from Meed Projects, the region’s leading projects tracker.
The major projects awarded in the past 12 months include the estimated $3.3-billion tunnelling package on the Doha Metro’s Gold Line, the $1-billion-plus Lusail Light Railway, and various packages on the New Orbital Highway and Truck road, totalling $4.6 billion, it added.
According to Meed Projects, the increase in project activity in Qatar makes it the third largest projects market in the GCC after the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
“It’s been almost four years since Qatar was announced as the host of the Fifa 2022 World Cup, and it’s fair to say that it is only recently that the market has started to see a significant ramp-up in infrastructure investment,” remarked Ed James, the director of analysis at Meed Projects.
“From 2010 to 2012, annual contract awards were running at $10 to $15 billion so we are seeing a marked and sustained increase in project activity in the state as it ensures it has the infrastructure in place in time for the event,” he added.
“With major projects such as the $3-billion mega water security reservoirs, the $5-billion Sharq Crossing, and remaining packages on the multi-billion-dollar expressway, Idris and local roads and drainage programmes all due to be awarded over the next 24 months, contractors, consultants and suppliers alike can be confident that Qatar will remain one of the most attractive and stable projects market opportunities in the region,” said James.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the largest sector this year has been transport which has been boosted by big contract awards in the roads and metro sectors. Construction, supported by major deals on the Lusail, Mshereib and Katara projects, has been the other primary sector.
According to James, the high value of work in Qatar has proved lucrative to local and international contractors alike.
Qatar-based Al Jaber Engineering is the top ranked contractor by value of work awarded over the last year, with just over $2-billion worth of contracts, followed closely by India’s Larsen & Toubro and the local QDVC (Qatar Diar Vinci Construction), he added.