Qatar is set to award more than $22 billion worth of new contracts in 2016 as it maintains its spending spree in advance of the Fifa 2022 World Cup, said a report by regional projects tracker Meed Projects, ahead of a key industry event.
With more than $30 billion worth of projects either planned or under construction, Qatar's Public Works Authority (Ashghal) is a key stakeholder in the country’s future development, it stated.
Its prime projects include the $10 billion-plus expressway and local roads and drainage programs, the Inner Doha Re-Sewerage Implementation Strategy (Idris); and the major public buildings program which are under way.
The others set to be awarded or tendered this year include the first phase of the $15 billion long-distance passenger and freight network, and the estimated $2 billion expansion of Hamad International Airport, stated the report.
According to Meed Projects, the forecast of $22.2 billion contracts this year is about 24 per cent less than the $29.3 billion deals awarded in 2015, primarily due to lower oil prices but also thanks to a renewed focus on existing project delivery rather than the launch of new schemes.
However, this year’s figure is also almost exactly in line with Qatar’s $22.3 billion contract award average experienced over the past five years, stated the report.
All these projects, along with many others comprising the over $200-billion worth of projects in the pipeline, will be presented at the event to be held at the St Regis Hotel, Doha from March 15 to 16.
"Like all GCC states, Qatar is set to spend less this year as government revenues are impacted by lower oil prices," stated Ed James, the director of content & analysis at Meed Projects, which created the forecast.
“Nonetheless, the projects market in the state is expected to continue apace as the authorities press ahead with their capital investment plans as the deadline for the World Cup looms closer. This will ensure a healthy pipeline of new projects will come to the market throughout 2016, providing numerous new opportunities for suppliers, contractors and vendors alike,” he stated.