Qatar Foundation for Education, Science & Community Development was established in 1995 to help develop Qatar’s knowledge economy.

Its main project since then has been Education City on the outskirts of Doha, which is now home to university campuses that are producing new graduates every year.

For the construction industry, Education City has created a bevy of new work. During the five years since mid-2006, Qatar Foundation has awarded more than $5bn of building contracts, making it one of the most active clients in Qatar.

Looking ahead, Qatar Foundation is set to keep awarding contracts. According to regional projects tracker MEED Projects, it is planning to award $6.5bn of work over the five years leading up to mid-2016.

Unlike the last five years, the focus will move away from Education City, where there are about $2bn of contract awards expected. The rest will be at Qatar Foundation’s Musheireb [formerly known as Dohaland] real-estate development in downtown Doha.

This represents an important shift in Qatar Foundation’s development plans as it will be developing real estate rather than the knowledge economy.

Although less altruistic, for construction companies, little will change. Qatar Foundation will continue to award about $1bn of contracts a year and it will remain one of Doha’s most important clients.