Qatar’s construction sector growth will continue regardless of the status of the World Cup as much of the infrastructure pipeline is not di-rectly linked to the event, said a report.
Over the next 10 years, annual average growth in the country’s construction sector is expected to be 10.2 per cent – the strongest within the GCC, said the Business Monitor International (BMI) report.
Qatar’s construction sector grew by 11.4 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of this year – a slowdown on the 18 per cent real growth registered over 2014 but still buoyant and close to BMI’s full-year 2015 forecast of 13 per cent, the report said.
While growth would certainly be slower as the government rationalises expenditure without the strict 2022 deadline, the majority of key projects would move forward, said the report.
The initiation in June of a Swiss probe into alleged corruption in world’s football governing body Fifa is once again fuelling uncertainty over Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup, presenting a key downside risk to the country’s construction outlook.
However, the report said this downside is more centred on Qatar’s reputation in the eyes of international investors looking at Qatar’s real estate markets, rather than government-funded infrastructure projects.
Doha’s metro network is still needed to alleviate congestion, albeit with fewer stations; Doha’s port will still need to be expanded to compete regionally and Qatar’s future economic growth will still need expanded power and water capacity, BMI said.
Meanwhile, the government’s decision to create a single buying source to import materials into the country, run by a government subsidiary, which will then sell on to the contractors, is a step towards mitigating the rising costs some contractors are facing, it said.