A number of pre-built properties at Ras Bufontas Free Zone including the $110m ‘Oasis’ building which will serve as Manateq’s headquarters, are set to be completed this year, Fahad Zainal (pictured), Chief Corporate Services Officer at Qatar Free Zones Authority has said.
Speaking at the recent 16th Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Business Forum, Zainal said Manateq’s ‘Oasis’ building is set to be completed by the third quarter of this year, while 24 light industrial units are expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year.
Designed in an iconic building showcasing Qatar’s economic zones as well as the Manateq brand, the ‘Oasis’ will also serve as a one-stop shop for investors in Qatar’s economic zones.
Further, as many as 14 light industrial units at the Umm Alhoul Free Zone are also set to be completed by the second quarter of 2020.
Talking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the event, Zainal said several international companies from Singapore, UK, US, South Korea, and China will soon be setting up their businesses in the free zones once the infrastructures are ready.
“There are logistics companies, emerging technology as well as chemical downstream companies coming. All of them are already in the design phase of doing their businesses,” added Zainal.
He added that Ras Bufontas Free Zone, with its direct access to the Hamad International Airport, is primed to be a logistics hub attracting technology, light manufacturing, and international business services companies. The Umm Alhoul Free Zone, which also has direct access to the Hamad Port, will focus on industrial, heavy manufacturing, marine services, as well as petrochemical and emerging technology-based companies.
Zainal also said: “With Qatar having spent billions to create infrastructures for free zones, the country is looking for long-term partnerships and companies to set-up and grow with us. We’re looking for pioneers who will develop the infrastructure with us. Qatar is in the heart of the Gulf region with 25 economies located within 3,000km. It offers high logistics potential in a region with over two billion people and a combined GDP of around $6trillion”.
Zainal went on to say that there’s currently a huge demand for companies to set-up at the recently launched MARSA port and marine cluster at the Umm Alhoul Free Zone. He said the MARSA marine cluster, which now welcomes foreign investors and local enterprises across a diverse range of marine services and light industry, will serve as a gateway for Qatar’s marine industry.
He also said: “Currently, there are around seven or eight companies that have gone through the pipeline. They are mostly local companies already existing in Qatar’s boat industry. There are some international companies who are coming as well. This will give the community and their businesses access to establish their businesses and do all the supply chain of all the maritime and marine services for the boats. This includes maintenance, logistics, boat building, brokerage, training, safety training, design, research and so forth.”