Some of the building and construction sector’s most innovative companies gathered in Doha Tuesday evening to take a look back at ten years of Project Qatar, a trade show-turned-institution that brings local, regional and international companies, foreign trade ministries, trade associations, buyers and suppliers to Qatar each year. A total of 72 companies received awards in the categories of ten, nine, eight, seven, and six years of loyalty to Project Qatar. It is estimated that the nation’s booming construction sector has more than $110 billion in projects announced and to be tendered.
The lively awards gala was hosted by Al Kass Sport Channel presenter Rhodri Williams and featured stage performances throughout the night by Doha Jazz and the Doha duo Violin Angels.
Several key local businesses and business leaders brought home awards, including Rashid Al-Sraiya Al-Kaabi, Chairman of IFP Qatar and of Qatar’s influential Al Sraiya Group, established in 1975 to serve infrastructural development in Qatar. Three Qatari companies were awarded for a decade of deal-making and participation since Project Qatar’s very first show: Industrial Equipment & Services Co. (IESCO), Qatar Trading Company W.L.L, and Qatari Industrial Equipment WLL
“As a company I can say for ten years we were able to position ourselves in a place where we have all our customers available in one platform,” said P.S. Sridhar of Qatar Trading Company W.L.L. after accepting the company’s award. “In a growing economy like this one, it’s easier to reach your customer base in an environment like this exhibition. As Project Qatar grew, our business grew. Particularly for any launches we want to do, this is a very good platform to position ourselves. Once you launch a product at project Qatar, it paves the way for more deals down the road and takes off from there.”
Debuting in 2004, the show has grown in parallel with Qatar’s fast-rising economy and construction sector. Starting with 267 exhibitors and 10,000 m² of exhibition space at the show’s very first edition, Project Qatar 2013 boasts 2,100 exhibitors and 62,000 m² of exhibition space. The show brought 11,265 visitors to the Doha Exhibition Centre on day one.
Notably, German companies have been participating since the very beginning; with Masa GmbH taking home a 10-year award at Tuesday’s gala. This year, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology presented 72 German companies – the 3rd largest national pavilion at the show this year.
IFP Group Chairman and CEO Albert Aoun spoke of the group’s deep roots in the region and the show’s success. “The ability to keep rising to higher levels has always been the event’s strength,” Aoun said. “In its 10th anniversary, Project Qatar is still supporting Qatar’s growth by connecting thousands of investors with business opportunities, facilitating the engagement of foreign companies in the lucrative local markets, and boosting public private partnerships.”
Project Qatar is held under the Auspices of His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar. Key local exhibitors include Platinum Sponsors UrbaCon General Contracting (UCC) and Stadia Sports and Leisure Solutions. Key regional and international exhibitors include Gold Sponsors Emirates Steel and Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (MATRADE). Al Sraiya Holding Group is Project Qatar’s Integrity Sponsor this year. The show ends Thursday.