Qatar quietly moves forward with infrastructure

17 March 2015

Doha must wish all its projects could move forward so peacefully, compared with the media frenzy surrounding projects linked to the 2022 Fifa World Cup

Thanks to football’s Fifa World Cup in 2022, Qatar’s projects market is the most infamous in the world.

The international media has feasted on stories ranging from the ridiculous – notably a World Cup stadium seemingly designed to resemble parts of the human anatomy – to the more serious issue of the wholesale mistreatment of construction workers (something UK-based human rights agency Amnesty International has recently downplayed).

While the media pantomime will undoubtedly continue to dominate the headlines, in the background, Qatar continues to quietly make great strides on its infrastructure development programme.

Government clients in Doha are keen to stress that the metro, expressways, and reservoirs are being built for the country and its people, not the World Cup, which shields them from the media frenzy that currently surrounds anything to do with Fifa, Qatar and football.

The latest scheme to make a great leap forward is Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation’s (Kahramaa’s) $3bn Water Security Mega Reservoirs project. The utility has selected four firms for the five main construction packages for the scheme that involves the construction of 10 reservoirs that will provide seven days of strategic water storage to shore up the country’s reserve water supplies to protect against any future disruptions in supply.

The mega-reservoirs project, together with the $500m contract recently secured by Japan’s Mitsubishi to build the Ras Abu Fontas A3 desalination plant, mean that in the space of just a few weeks, Qatar will add several billion dollars-worth of projects to its economy.

Taken together, the schemes are worth about the same as four or five World Cup stadiums and nobody outside the construction industry has really noticed, let alone made allegations of labour abuse or suggested that a desalination plant or a reservoir resembles a body part.

Policymakers in Doha will be wishing all Qatar’s projects could move forward that quietly.

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.

Get Notifications