With projects worth US$ 250 billion under construction, Qatar readies to usher in the future with Project Qatar - a destination of choice for regional and international industry professionals.A sovereign Arab state occupying the small Qatar peninsula, Qatar is all set to become the new epicentre of the construction and real estate industry in the Middle East as contracts worth USD 22 billion are expected to be awarded by 2012. This is an increase from the USD 20.21 billion worth of contracts awarded in 2010, according to Research and Markets, the leading source for international market research and market data. This predicted surge in the number of contracts awarded reflects Qatar’s emergence as a premier business and investment destination in the Middle East region. According to a recent country report by MEED, Qatar has dedicated over 40 per cent of its budget towards infrastructure expansion projects with huge expenditures being allocated to the private sector for the creation of more job opportunities. The move translates to over USD 66 billion worth of infrastructure projects that are either in the planning stage or already under way in Qatar at present. The advent of these key infrastructure projects complements the Qatar National Vision 2030 programme, which aims to strengthen the country’s sustainable design initiatives in the construction sector.Development in Qatar is attributed to the its massive oil and gas reserves, which acts as a catalyst in attracting key opportunities among its most important industries. Similarly, hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022 allows Qatar to develop partnerships with global investors and companies involved with construction, property and infrastructure development. Preparations for the highly anticipated international sporting event will cover all sectors of the country’s economy and is expected to involve around USD100 billion worth of projects over the next four years.Stablising residential marketThe residential construction and real estate market of Qatar witnessed a period of high growth between 2001 and 2009. This was mainly on account of high natural gas production and increased public infrastructure spending. However, the global economic slowdown affected the residential construction market of Qatar in 2010 and 2011 as demand contracted. This led to a sharp decline in property prices in Qatar. The country witnessed a huge increase in rentals before the economic recession with changes in ownership law allowing foreigners to buy property in designated areas in the country. This increase in rentals resulted in yields of around 12 per cent in 2008.However, the recession had a profound effect on selling price and rentals. This led to a decline in average rental yields across Qatar as a fall in rentals was more in comparision to a fall in property prices. Currently, gross rental yields in Qatar stand at around 10 per cent The residential construction and real estate market in Qatar has shown signs of stabilising, particularly post the announcement of the FIFA World Cup 2022, which the country is hosting.Optimistic commercial marketThe Qatar commercial market is facing a problem of oversupply after significant activity in the last decade. Substantial increase in stock and subdued demand for office space has pressurissed property prices as well as rentals in key business locations of Qatar. Average office prices in Q4, 2011 remained stable at QR14,000 per sq m as compared to Q3, 2011. However, new supplies in 2012 are expected to readjust prices” over the medium-term. The commercial office market will continue to be oversupplied in the near-term, with several new developments nearing completion in the near future. In the long term however, an optimistic outlook for the commercial office market is predicted mainly due to a healthy growth in population and increasing economic activity. Massive construction activity in preparation for the FIFA 2022 World Cup also bodes well for the office properties market in Qatar. Rentals of commercial offices properties are expected to increase from current yields of 10 per cent.Fifa World Cup 2022 set to launch multi- billion projects in QatarQatar’s successful bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 has propelled the launch of projects worth billions of dollars, marking the start of a significant increase in infrastructure investments and development opportunities. By 2022:
The 2011 edition surpassed all expectations, including its previous edition in 2010, thanks to an overwhelming response from both exhibitors and visitors.