Market split between local and international firms

Work won in Qatar last year was split equally between local and international contractors. International firms won a slew of major contracts for the multibillion-dollar Doha metro project in 2013.

Design and construction contracts totalling QR30bn ($8.2bn) were awarded for the scheme last year.

The estimated QR8bn Red Line South underground sections construction package was secured by a consortium of the local/French QDVC, South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction Corporation and the local Darwish Engineering.

A team of Austria’s Porr, Saudi Binladin Group and the local HBK Contracting won the estimated QR8bn contract to build the underground sections for the Green Line, while South Korea’s Samsung C&T, Spain’s OHL and Qatar Building Company won an estimated QR4bn contract to build the two major stations at Msheireb and Education City.

Qatar Rail also awarded an estimated QR8bn contract to a consortium of Italy’s Impregilo, South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction and the local Galfar al-Misnad for the construction of the Red Line North underground sections.

Selected major upcoming projects in Qatar
Scheme Value ($m) Client
Al-Sejeel Petrochemical Complex 5,600 Qatar Petroleum (QP)/Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco)
Al-Karaana Petrochemical Complex 6,400 QP/Shell
Doha Metro: Blue Line: tunnelling works 3,000 Qatar Rail
Doha Metro: Gold Line: tunnelling works 3,000 Qatar Rail
Mesaieed IWPP (Facility D) 2,965 Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa)
West Bay People Mover 2,700 Qatar Rail
Energy City Qatar 2,446 Energy City Development Company
Doha Convention Tower 1,500 Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company
Doha Metro: Red Line South: elevated/at grade section 1,000 Qatar Rail
Doha Metro: Green Line: elevated/at grade section 1,000 Qatar Rail
IWPP=Independent water and power project. Source: MEED Projects

Joannou & Paraskevaides (J&P)

Date founded: 1940

Country of origin: Cyprus

CEO: Constantinos Shiacolas

Head of J&P Qatar: Panicos Petrides

Tel: (+974) 4 467 5429


Although Joannou & Paraskevaides was founded in Cyprus in 1940, the international arm, known as Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas), was established in the Channel Islands in 1961. Expansion into the Gulf began in the 1970s and today the firm is one of the region’s most successful contractors. In 2013 alone, it was awarded contracts worth $1.35bn, including two major contracts for the Public Works Authority (Ashghal): the $896m orbital highway and truck route contract and the $458m east-west corridor road.

HBK Contracting

Date founded: 1970

Country of origin: Qatar

President/chairman: Sheikh Ali bin Hamad bin Khalid al-Thani

Tel: (+974) 4 445 1111


HBK Contracting, or Hamad Bin Khalid Contracting Company, has long been known as a leader in the Qatari construction industry. Established by the late Hamad bin Khalid al-Ahmed al-Thani in 1970, the firm acted as a national contractor through the oil boom construction period. Over the years, HBK Contracting has executed many prestigious schemes for various government and private clients. Today, it is engaged on Qatar’s biggest projects, building the Doha Metro Green Line, phase 3 of the Msheireb central Doha renovation project and the New Doha Port project.

Saudi Binladin Group (SBG)

Date founded: 1931

Country of origin: Saudi Arabia

Chairman: Bakr Binladin

Tel: (+966) 12 664 3033


Saudi Binladin Group is the Middle East’s biggest contractor and was founded by Mohammed Binladin in Jeddah in 1931, when it was known as the Mohammed Binladin Organisation. The company has been making greater inroads overseas in recent years, joining up with Qatari Diar in early 2010 to develop projects in Qatar, which include the $1bn Doha-to-Dukhan highway upgrade. In 2013, it added a $2.5bn joint venture to build the Doha Metro Green Line to its project wins.

Porr Group

Date founded: 1869

Country of origin: Austria

CEO: Karl-Heinz Strauss

Managing director, international: Thomas Stiegler

Tel: (+974) 4 432 5700


Austrian contracting firm Porr has a long and illustrious history dating back to its foundations as the General Austrian Construction Company in 1869. However, its June 2013 contract win in Qatar on the Doha Metro Green Line is the largest in its history and follows successful delivery of the enabling works package. The $2.5bn Green Line joint venture with Saudi Binladin Group and HBK Contracting has pushed the firm’s order book to a record $6.16bn.

Galfar al-Misnad

Date founded: 1995

Country of origin: Qatar

CEO: Satesh Pilai

Chairman: Mohammed Ali

Tel: (+974) 4 467 7518


Galfar al-Misnad is a sister company to Galfar Engineering & Contracting, which was founded in Oman in 1972. Since the company began operating in Qatar, it has focused on mechanical, electrical and plumbing, particularly industrial electrification; oil and gas, where it has placed more than 500 kilometres of pipelines; infrastructure, mainly road related; and now the buildings sector. In 2013, it won more work at the Dukhan Field and a huge $2.2bn contract on the Doha Metro Red Line North in a joint venture with two other contractors.

SK Engineering & Construction

Date founded: 1977

Country of origin: South Korea

CEOs: Casey Choi and Ki Haeng Cho

Head of Qatar business: Thomas Lee

Tel: (+974) 4 477 2664


SK Engineering & Construction has come a long way since it began operating in the petrochemicals and industrial plant sector in the late 1970s. Its Middle Eastern operations started in Saudi Arabia and it now has a base in Al-Khobar in the Eastern Province of the kingdom. From there, it has grown its reach into the UAE and Kuwait, and in 2013 it picked up the $2.2bn Doha Metro Red Line North tunnelling works contract in joint venture with Italy’s Impregilo and the local Galfar al-Misnad.


Date founded: 1906

Country of origin: Italy

CEO: Pietro Salini

Area manager, Qatar: Gianni Porta

Tel: (+974) 4 491 6166


Impregilo is another international contractor that has recently had major success in Qatar. The $2.2bn Doha Metro Red Line North contract is its second major win in the country, following the 9.5-kilometre Abu Hamour wastewater tunnel contract worth $135m, which is being built for the Public Works Authority (Ashghal). In the UAE, it is nearing completion of two major sections of the 40km Abu Dhabi super sewer and, in 2013, it was awarded the $5.2bn Line 3 of the Riyadh Metro in Saudi Arabia as part of a consortium.

Qatar Building Company

Date founded: 1971

Country of origin: Qatar

Chairman: Mohammed Tayeb Mustafawi

Managing director: Ali Mustafawi

Tel: (+974) 4 462 5555


Qatar Building Company is one of the country’s best-known firms, having helped deliver some of the biggest projects of the past few decades, including the Doha Expressway, Airport Road, Msheireb Downtown Doha, Education City, Lusail City and many more. As a construction materials supplier, the firm will certainly be busy in the coming decade. In 2013, it won contracts to build two landmark metro stations at Education City and Msheireb in joint venture with Spain’s OHL and South Korea’s Samsung C&T.

Samsung C&T

Date founded: 1938

Country of origin: South Korea

CEO: Chi Hun Choi

General manager Qatar: Faye Yun Cho

Tel: (+974) 4 444 0155


Samsung C&T has made a strong name for itself in the Middle East thanks to its delivery of some of the region’s biggest projects, including the world’s tallest tower, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, and the Abu Dhabi Cleveland Clinic. In 2013, it added more wins to its portfolio in Qatar with contracts for the two biggest metro stations at Education City and Msheireb, which it will deliver in joint venture with Spain’s OHL and Qatar Building Company. This followed $384m-worth of roads and bridges contracts that it was awarded for Lusail City in 2011.


Date founded: 1911

Country of origin: Spain

President: Juan Miguel Villar Mir

General manager OHL Construction: Francisco Marin Andres

Tel: (+974) 4 431 1831


Spain’s Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) is a world-leading contractor in the railways and construction sector and has been operating since 1911, when it was just Obrascon. The Huarte and Lain companies joined the group in the late 1990s. Since then the company has expanded and now has two major projects under way in Qatar: the Sidra medical research facility, worth $2.3bn, in joint venture with US firm Contrak International; and the Msheireb and Education City stations for the Doha Metro, which it will carry out with Samsung C&T and Qatar Building Company.