With nearly $8bn of contracts awarded to date this year, Qatar is expected to beat the $10.8bn of construction and infrastructure contracts it awarded in 2011. If it does, 2012 will mark the third consecutive year of growth since the dramatic slump experienced in 2009 when the value of awards fell to $4.1bn from a peak of $13bn during the Gulf real estate boom.

Instead of real estate, Qatar’s focus this year has been on infrastructure as it prepares to host football’s Fifa World Cup in 2022. When it secured the rights to host the tournament in late 2010, Doha pledged to spend more than $60bn on infrastructure, and although most of these projects are still in the planning stages, some large-scale awards have been made.

Qatar top 5 construction awards, 2012
Project Client Value ($m)
New Doha port dredging New Port Steering Committee 1,200
Lusail expressway 1 Public Works Authority (Ashghal) 961
NDIA road Ashghal 640
Msheireb 1c Msheireb Properties 450
Student housing facilities Qatar University 300
For further information visit www.meed.com/meedprojects

The largest award this year was for work on the New Doha Port Project. In March, the local/Belgian Dredging International and Middle East Dredging Company secured the $1.2bn phase 2 deal, which involves dredging an access channel so that ships can reach the port. In 2011, China Harbour Engineering Company won an $880m contract to carry out phase one of the project, which covers excavation works at the port.

Other modes of transport are also being invested in, with the largest being rail. Qatar Railways Company (Qrail) is currently tendering the first five major packages on its multibillion-dollar Doha metro scheme. These cover four underground sections and work on the network’s two major stations at the Msheireb Downtown Doha development and Education City.

Another rail scheme is being developed serving Education City on the outskirts of Doha, which will be linked to the metro project. A consortium led by Germany’s Siemens won a $450m contract to develop a tram network for Qatar Foundation’s Education City campus, located in western Doha.

Upgrading roads

For roads, the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) is planning to spend $20bn on new roads and related infrastructure in the next five years. This year, it has awarded a series of contracts. The largest was secured by South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company for a deal to build the estimated $1bn first package on the Lusail Expressway project.

Ashghal has also chosen the UAE’s Al-Jaber Group for a $675m road construction contract in Qatar. The deal was for package 13 of the Doha Expressway scheme, which involves the construction of a further 10km of a four-lane highway and three interchanges.

Upcoming tender deadlines
Project Client Submission
Qatar metro Qatar Railways Company Q4 2012
Dredging package New Port Project Steering Committee Q1 2013
Doha Convention Centre Tower Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company Q3 2013
For further information visit www.meed.com/meedprojects

For real estate projects the market remains relatively quiet, with one major exception, the $5.5bn Msheireb scheme in Doha. This year it has awarded the estimated $450m phase 1c contract to the joint venture of Canada’s Brookfield Multiplex and the local Medgulf Construction.

Msheireb could be the start of the real estate sector re-establishing itself. The hope is that more real estate projects will follow as the government’s investment continues to drive economic growth, creating demand for properties.