Qatar’s Economy is Based Significantly on Hydrocarbons

Date: 2015-09-17

“• Construction growth in Qatar will be driven by the National Vision 2030 and the hosting of the 2022 Fifa World Cup, through which the industry is expecting significant growth, propelled largely by an increase in construction activity in terms of infrastructure and real estate. Both public and private funds will be required to maintain and develop the infrastructure. The country is also looking to diversify its economy to non-oil and gas, with the government planning to spend QAR546.1 billion (US$150.0 billion) on infrastructure to accomplish this. With government commitment and investment picking up, the country’s forecast-period construction outlook is more optimistic, owing to the healthy signs of improving confidence among consumers and investors. 

• Hosting the 2022 Fifa World Cup is quite probably the single biggest construction-related event in Qatar, boosted by major infrastructure projects such as Lusail and Musheireb, as well as new roads and highways, and the expansion of the Hamad International Airport and the new metro in Doha. Allegations of corruption surrounding Fifa’s awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar have not been fully resolved as of December 2014. However, Fifa has insisted that the tournament will go ahead in Qatar and the construction industry, which was adversely affected by corruption allegations in 2014 related to the 2022 event, will go ahead with the preparatory work, making the Qatari construction industry’s forecast-period outlook favorable. 

• Qatar’s economy is based significantly on hydrocarbons, and the country is now trying to diversify away from oil. Infrastructure development is now a focus for the government, which is investing heavily in non-oil infrastructure. The total value of construction projects in the planning and execution stage over the forecast period is estimated at QAR64.2 billion (US$17.6 billion). Construction of transport infrastructure accounts for 40.7% of the total spending by the government in the construction sector. It includes several projects in the pipeline, with investments of QAR3.2 billion (US$879.0 million) in commercial construction, QAR1.7 billion (US$467.0 million) in industrial buildings, QAR38.1 billion (US$10.5 billion) in transport infrastructure, and QAR6.4 billion (US$1.8 billion) for housing development.

• Qatar’s education sector received significant investments during the review period, owing to the country’s National Vision 2030 to ease its overstretched education system, which is struggling to keep pace with the population explosion. In July 2013, the Public Works Authority of Qatar (Ashghal) signed a contract worth QAR2.0 billion (US$549.4 million) for the construction of 44 new school buildings and kindergartens. Moreover in March 2014, the government announced plans to spend QAR225.7 billion (US$62.0 billion) on the construction of 85 new schools. All projects are expected to be completed over the forecast period. 

• With robust economic growth and considerable development in the construction sector in preparation for the 2022 Fifa World Cup, Qatari real estate has been adversely affected by rising land prices. According to the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) Real Estate Price Index (REPI), real estate prices grew by 28.9% in June 2014 compared with the same period the previous year, and were 20.0% higher than in 2008. The increase, coupled with the shortfall in residential property, suggests that the residential market is likely to remain undersupplied over the forecast period. 

• In February 2014, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) launched the ‘Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030’. The main purpose of the strategy is to increase the volume of tourist inflows so that the travel and tourism sector accounts for 8.0% of the national GDP by 2030. As a result, this initiative is expected to increase the total inbound tourist expenditure to QAR39.0 billion (US$10.7 billion) by 2030. The strategy is heavily focused on the 2022 Fifa World Cup, which includes the construction of stadia. This will support the growth of the economy, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and will encourage entrepreneurs to undertake private sector initiatives.”

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