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Fahad Al Kaabi

QATAR - Economy

Zone Specific

CEO, Manateq

Bio

Fahad Al Kaabi joined Manateq from QPM, where he was CEO. Prior to that position he was Manager of the Conservation and Energy Efficiency Department of Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA). He holds degrees in Industrial Engineering and Business Management, both from the University of Miami. He later obtained a Master’s degree in Project Management from the University of Houston.

"Manateq is driven by its vision of creating a future with sustainable growth for everyone."

How will the establishment of economic zones drive Qatar’s economic growth and help in the diversification effort?

Many countries have employed the concept of economic zones, especially those that seek to further enhance economic activity and development. Economic zones have both a policy and an infrastructure rationale. In terms of policy, an economic zone can be a useful tool as part of an overall economic growth strategy to enhance industrial competitiveness and attract both local and international investments. Thus, in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, Manateq, an autonomous government company and part of the Qatar Authority for SMEs, was established to play a vital part in the country’s overall economic growth strategy. By piloting new policies and approaches, Manateq aims to develop and diversify the production of goods, the delivery of services, and the creation of jobs. It also enables efficient government supervision, the provision of off-site infrastructure, and environmental controls. Additionally, Manateq has been mandated to develop and manage several economic zone projects in order to aid and stimulate substantial private sector investment, both local and foreign, into mid-sized activities such as manufacturing. And, through Manateq, Qatar is likewise able to focus on non-oil related industries, with an emphasis on economic development through a competitive, knowledge-based, and diversified economy.

How are the three current zones positioned to encourage a long-term trend of diversification?

Manateq is driven by its vision of creating a future with sustainable growth for everyone. By using resources wisely, supporting diversification, caring for the environment, providing access to growing markets, and making it easier to do business, Manateq creates the right conditions for clients for smooth, long-term operations, as well as further opportunities for excellent returns. It is for these reasons that each of the three economic zones—Ras Bufontas, Abu Nakhla, and Um Alhoul—have been clearly clustered to provide infrastructure and services that cater to specific industries and business sectors. As clustering provides further distinct advantages, Ras Bufontas, for instance, has been defined to cater to advanced technology and logistics businesses, Abu Nakhla for specialized industries and logistics, and Um Alhoul for light manufacturing. A significant factor in the clustering of each zone also involves its size and location. Thus, with Ras Bufontas being approximately a 4.01 square kilometer area that adjoins the New Doha International Airport, this cluster targets business sectors such as logistics, information and communications, healthcare, energy and the environment, high-tech building, and global warehousing. Meanwhile, Abu Nakhla, which is approximately a 11.95 square kilometers in size, just south of the current Doha Industrial Area, targets businesses involved in building materials, machinery and fabrications, specialized spill-over industries, safety and maintenance, and specialized warehousing and logistics. On the other hand, Um Alhoul, which is 33.5 square kilometers in area and adjoins the New Port Project, just south of Wakrah, targets businesses involved in petrochemicals, building materials, maritime operations, metals, logistics, food processing, and many others. Given such focus, it is intended that each of these three economic zones will be able to provide long-term benefits for customers.

“Manateq is driven by its vision of creating a future with sustainable growth for everyone.”

Where does the economic zones project fit into Qatar National Vision 2030?

One of four key pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030 is economic development. On this pillar, the ultimate objective is to develop a competitive and diversified economy that addresses the needs of its people and creates for them a high standard of living. Thus, Manateq and its economic zones clearly have a vital role to play in the realization of Qatar National Vision 2030.

© The Business Year – January 2014

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