Real Estate & Construction

Eyes On The Ball


According to Middle East Economic Digest (MEED), the total value of all projects planned or underway in Qatar currently is worth a staggering $222 billion with 23% of this coming […]

According to Middle East Economic Digest (MEED), the total value of all projects planned or underway in Qatar currently is worth a staggering $222 billion with 23% of this coming from the private sector and 58% going into the transport sector. Of this total, $182.5 billion is in the pipeline for implementation over the next five years. An important player behind much of the planning and execution of the QNV is the Public Works Authority (Ashghal). The authority will help organize projects that add to the social and economic development of the country with projects valued over $27.46 billion covering roads, drainage, sewerage, and buildings targeted for completion within the next five to seven years. The three main projects that Ashghal is working on are the Expressway Programme, the Local Roads and Drainage Programme, and the Inner-Doha Re-Sewage Implementation Strategy (IDRIS).

The Expressway Program began in 2010 and is expected to be complete by 2017 with the aim of connecting major cities, towns, and villages all across the state. In total, approximately 240 major interchanges, including tunnels and flyovers spread across 30 nationwide projects will be implemented. The program currently has 10 of the 30 projects underway at a value of $4.39 billion. Once complete, it is hoped that the new expressways will enable greater mobility throughout Qatar, in addition to reducing travel times and improving road safety.

The next major project that Ashghal is working on is the Local Roads and Drainage Program. The scale of this project is much larger than that of the Expressway Program and will implement over 200 projects across Qatar’s five regions—Qatar North, Qatar South, Doha North, Doha South, and Doha West. The aim of the project is to improve the living standards of citizens and tourists alike through the development of local roads and drainage. Ashghal partnered with the international consultancy firm Parsons Brinckerhoff, which will act as chief consultant to oversee the whole program. In total, the entire project is expected to cost around $13.73 billion and take seven years to complete.

The final significant project involving Ashghal is IDRIS. The aim of this is pretty simple, upgrade and improve the drainage and sewer infrastructure in the southern part of Doha. The eight year development will consist of over 70 km of treated sewage effluent return mains and pump stations, a 70 km of lateral interception sewers, and a 40 kilometer main truck sewer, which will provide a long-term solution to wastewater management and treatment for the city of Doha. Initially, the project will allow for the treatment of 500,000 liters of water per day. The estimated cost of the project is thought to be in excess of $2.75 billion.

While infrastructure projects might not be the most exciting projects, they are vital for the success of any nation, and Qatar is taking its development very seriously with the construction of a world-class road network and wastewater management scheme. And the government is not content with just these projects in regard to infrastructure. It has also commissioned some far more visible projects that are sure to make a name for the country. Before the World Cup, Qatar is expected to spend $150 billion on infrastructure development alone. When this is broken down, $20 billion is earmarked for roads, $25 billion for the railways, $15.5 billion on a new airport, $4 billion on new stadiums, $8 billion on a deepwater seaport, and $1 billion on a transport corridor project, as well as other projects led by Ashghal and other organizations. In 2013, four multi-billion dollar contracts, with a fifth expected soon bringing the total cost to $20 billion, were awarded to build the Doha Metro. In its initial phase, which will cost $7 billion, the Metro will be 130 km long with 99 km of that underground and include numerous tunnels and stations.

One of the more extravagant projects Qatar is working on is the Amphibious 1000, which is semi-submerged resort of the Qatari coast. The $500 million project is being designed by the Italian firm Giancarlo Zema Design Group and will feature developments on both land and sea including four hotels and underwater rooms resembling super yachts. There will 80 self-contained “jellyfish” suites, each with four floors and an underwater “aquarium lounge.” On land, there is a museum, floating walkways, a restaurant, an exhibition center, aquariums, and an underwater glass tunnel that will lead to an observatory in the center of the marine park.

Naturally, with they large investments and numerous projects underway, the demand for cement is strong. According to Arqaam Capital, demand for cement in Qatar is set to double over the next three years. By 2017, the demand for cement is expected to be 9.4 mtpa, while in 2018 there will be an equilibrium between supply and demand for cement, leading to a possible shortage. Currently, Qatar’s largest cement producer is QNCD, which has a market share of 62% with a capacity to produce 4.4 mtpa of cement. The second largest player is Al Khalij Cement, which has a capacity of 1.8 mtpa of clinker and 2.7 mtpa of cement. According to Arqaam Capital, it is not just cement that is experiencing a boom, with demand for limestone set to increase by 131% in 2014 and 127% in 2015 and demand for washed stone expected to increase by 108% in 2014 and 106% in 2015.

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