Qatar is second on the list of most attractive infrastructure investment destinations
INFRASTRUCTURE investments in Qatar are set to breach the $200-billion mark in the next 10 years, according to Mohamad Moataz Al Khayyat, CEO of Khayat Contracting and Trading Company (KCT), a leading Qatar-based design-and-build company which has some 20 construction projects under way in the country’s capital.
He says state spending alone has been estimated to reach $160 billion with additional investments pouring in from the private sector to complement government efforts to boost infrastructure development.
“Preparations for the Fifa World Cup 2022, though a government-driven activity, will also see external investments being made outside state funding to cash in on the windfall expected from staging the world’s biggest sporting event. The retail industry will open up as will the F&B (food and beverage) sector. Tourism and hospitality will see further activity beyond what the government is planning,” says Al Khayyat.
The latest Arcadis Global Infrastructure Investment Spending Index already ranks Qatar as the second most attractive infrastructure investment destination in the world behind only Singapore.
“In the Gulf region, Qatar leads all other nations and has maintained this ranking for the past two years – an affirmation of investor confidence in the country’s potential to attract investments over and above what the state will spend,” says Al Khayyat.
While the future prospects for Qatar’s infrastructure projects market look promising, supply and construction costs issues will eventually surface and need to be addressed. KCT is feeling the burden of rising construction costs. By Al Khayyat’s estimates, the prices of construction materials have increased by as much as five to 10 per cent in the last 12 months.
KCT recently became the first company in the GCC to receive recognition of its global standards of practice by the British Standards Institution – Group Middle East (BSI).
The BSI certification audited four standards: quality, environment, health and safety, and integrated management. BSI is the business standards company that helps organisations all over the world make excellence a habit.
Employing a total workforce of about 6,000 workers, KCT is one of 17 companies owned by Al Khayyat, which cover sectors including general contracting, commercial and residential developments, building materials, various trading companies, hospitals and restaurants with operations in Syria, Morocco and Qatar.
Among the major projects completed by the company recently is the Lekhwiya Sports Stadium and Sports Complex in Doha. The complex includes a 10,000-spectator soccer stadium, which has already opened, four training fields with their own changing room facilities, a mosque, a 75-key five-star hotel, a fitness centre and a multi-purpose hall.
The complex was commissioned to be finished to the highest standards. Examples include onyx cladding, variegated glass, marble finishes, turnstile entrances, stamped concrete and stamped asphalt. The main grandstand has a ground level for players and coaches. The mezzanine level has offices, as well as facilities for broadcast and other media. There is a first floor for VIP and a second floor for VVIP fans.
The 385,000-sq-m complex was completed by KCT on a design-and-build basis. It currently is the home ground of Qatar’s premier domestic football team Lekhwiya.
KCT also recently launched the Al Khayat Academy for Training, a facility to train construction tradesmen and unskilled labourers, as well as foremen and supervisors in 10 trades. The academy has five classrooms and two training yards for practical training. Some 1,220 workers have received or are currently receiving training at the academy so far this year.