With its rapid rate of development, Qatar has made a major push to develop the country’s infrastructure capacity. One of the opportunities that has been at the forefront of the government’s agenda is the expansion of Qatar’s transport and logistics sector. Qatar has previously run the majority of its entire shipping and sea transport out of Doha Port. However, in 2007, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Former Emir of the State of Qatar, announced the world’s largest greenfield port project; Hamad Port. The $7 billion port development has since been under construction and is scheduled for a full completion in 2016. At the end of 2015, HE Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani gave the command to begin partial operations of Hamad Port ahead of the full launch.
Despite the world-class infrastructure of the upcoming Hamad Port, Qatar has its work cut out in an increasingly competitive logistics environment. GCC countries have all been developing substantial upgrades in their respective port infrastructures. It is no secret that the GCC represents a strategic geographic trade hub for world shipping lanes. Similarly, with the development of the GCC Rail Network, these same countries have recognized the opportunities for ports to play a fundamental role in sea-trade based imports that travel by rail to other GCC member countries. In order to succeed, Qatar must compete with these regional players and provide the most cost-effective and service-oriented solutions to maximize its market share. The outlook for Qatar is positive, though, as one of the predominant drivers of growth in the transport and logistics sector is the 2022 FIFA World Cup. With this global spectacle comes billions of dollars in investment projects, mainly in the infrastructure sector. As such, construction companies will continue to drive growth in the import of construction materials and other related goods.