Most construction companies would agree that Qatar has failed to meet their expectation over the past two years. Most firms are still waiting for a raft of major contract awards that were meant to follow Fifa’s decision to hold the 2022 football World Cup in the country.
The numbers support the complaints. In 2008, there was $8.5bn-worth of construction contracts awarded according to regional projects tracker MEED Projects.
The figure slumped in 2009 to $3.5bn as the regional property market slumped. In 2010, it rose slightly to $4.3bn, and then by a further $2bn to $6.5bn in 2011.
The surprise last year was the number fell again to $5.5bn. After a disappointing year, the construction industry needed a good start to 2013, and that is what they have got. In January the Qatar Olympic Committee awarded contracts to build its sports stadiums at Al-Saad and Lusail. While they are not the large-scale stadiums that will host the World Cup finals, they are a sign that Qatar is finally starting to build the sporting infrastructure it will need for the tournament.
More work will come in 2013. Contractors are competing for a series of major expressway contracts, along with the construction packages for the Doha metro scheme. Progress on these schemes should drive the total number of awards well above last year’s total and finally the deliver the growth and volume of work that companies have been waiting for.