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Abdulla Al Subaie

QATAR - Transport

Ready to Ride

Group CEO, Barwa Group

Bio

Abdulla Abdulaziz Al Subaie is the Group CEO of Barwa, Qatar’s leading Real Estate Development and Investment holding Group with diversified investments in real estate, business, infrastructure services, and financial services. He was appointed as the Group CEO of Barwa in April 2011. In March 2011, he was appointed as the Managing Director of Qatar Railways Company, a subsidiary of the Qatari Diar Group dedicated to developing Qatar’s Rail industry in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 for comprehensive national development. Prior to joining Barwa, Abdulla was the CEO of Smeet, an affiliate of Qatari Diar Group dealing in the manufacture and supply of building materials, serving the company since its formation in 2008 until March 2011. Al Subaie obtained an MBA in 2006 and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering (BSc) in 1996 from Qatar University.

Qatar Rail is currently constructing one of the world’s most ambitious rail projects. How will the Qatar metro strengthen the nation’s position as a regional and global transport hub? Transport […]

Qatar Rail is currently constructing one of the world’s most ambitious rail projects. How will the Qatar metro strengthen the nation’s position as a regional and global transport hub?

Transport is a very important sector in this country. The Qatar Metro will be one of the most state-of-the-art systems both in the region and the world, and will utilize new driverless technologies. The metro will change the shape of the city. Qatar’s reliance on personal cars for transport is creating environmental and social problems, as it does around the world. There must be a substitute or an alternative means of transportation. The entire demography will change and reshape the city. I will want to live next to the metro, because my work and business is located just a few hundred meters from a stop. My intuitive estimation is that traffic is costing a 0.5% loss in the GDP because of waiting times. If we do nothing this could rise to 2%, which is too high. Qatar Rail will significantly increase trading between the GCC countries, and each train will remove around 300 trucks from the road. Between Dubai, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, just picture the number of trucks and ships on the move, and how trains will largely replace them. It will give each country access to the three seas: the Arabian Sea, the Gulf, and the Red sea. This will change trade completely.

How does the metro fit in to the country’s national vision?

The national vision rests on four pillars: human, social, economic, and environmental development. The National Vision 2030 aims to transform Qatar into an advanced country capable of achieving sustainable development and ensure a continued and decent standard of living for its people. This means in transport terms ease of movement and access to business, education, and leisure facilities in a seamless way whilst respecting environment. On the economic front, GDP will benefit from reduced time lost in traffic. Teenagers too young to drive will be able to travel around freely without having to rely on drivers or chauffeurs. From a social perspective, a better environment will mean a better quality of life for citizens. Instead of having one million cars in the city, you will have 500,000. This means less CO2 and less of an impact on health. Additionally, the metro will provide jobs for many, and prove to be a major step forward for the nation in every aspect. Our vision is for Qatar to have one of the world’s best integrated transport systems connecting people, places, goods, and services enabling economic prosperity and quality of life for all. We are proud to be undertaking this challenge.

Your local portfolio in Qatar is robust. How do international and regional investments play into your strategy moving forward?

Regional and international investments are important to us. We believe that when we engage in such schemes—we leverage our expertise here in the market. When you have a track record of building and delivering over QAR70 billion over the past six or seven years, you need to leverage that experience. Also, being available in the international domain will give us good exposure and connections with partners from abroad, which is a benefit to both parties. However, we are seeing that the majority of the opportunities exist here in Qatar.

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