Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) are looking to attract the private sector to support several tourism projects.

The plan forms part of Qatar’s strategy to promote itself as a hospitality and tourism destination, as well as promote opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses.

Contractors are currently preparing proposals for various developments that have been prioritised by the two organisations, which are acting as project sponsors.  

The projects are:

  • A luxury dhow offering five-star dining cruises
  • A street market
  • Tourism information and ticketing organisation
  • The creation of a four-wheel drive vehicle leasing company to offer off-road trips
  • The establishment of a company that would oversee events and meetings
  • A luxury coach company

The request for proposals (RFP) was released in early March during a roadshow and the deadline for submissions in 15 May.

The proposals need to include a business plan including details on how the projects will be financed.

Contractors can tap QDB’s direct lending scheme, which is a programme that provides both long-term project financing and short-term raw materials facilities, which are revolving credit facilities that can be used to procure raw materials.

It is anticipated the final financing packages for the projects will also include commercial bank financing, and contractors’ proposals should include an outline of the proportion of QDB financing versus commercial debt financing they require, says a source familiar with the project.

QDB can also provide pre-financing support to potential bidders before a successful contractor has been selected to help them develop a bankable business plan.

It is expected that the final contracts will be signed in August, with the bids assessed between May and June, and contractors selected by July.  

UK-based consultancy EY (formerly Ernst & Young) and law firm Eversheds developed the RFP with the sponsors and will be assisting with the selection process.

Qatar’s government has prioritised the development of the tourism sector as a significant contributor to economic growth. QTA forecasts that the sector will account for 8 per cent of GDP by 2030.