Projects
Role of construction in Qatar’s tourism sector
One of the future attractions for tourists is the National Museum of Qatar currently under construction in central Doha.
FINANCE
Project financing in Qatar: A case of evolution
In order to diversify project financing models in Qatar, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce is in the process of drafting the PPP law for Qatar. (Image Arabian Eye/Corbis)
MEP
Sustainable MEP in Qatar – a matter of legislative change
Some advanced MEP technologies that can substantially reduce energy consumption are district cooling (DC), variable refrigerant flow, central AC technology, geothermal cooling, absorption chiller technology, solar photovoltaics, and solar water heating, etcetera. (Image Flickr/Rym DeCoster)
Projects
Qatar Rising: 10 landmark projects and why they matter
Among some prominent developments within Lusail City are Katara Towers, illustrated here, scheduled to open doors in 2018. (Image Katara Hospitality)
SUSTAINABILITY
The impetus is there for the Gulf’s construction industry to produce energy-efficient buildings
Insulation panels being installed during the construction of a facility in the Gulf region.
SUSTAINABILITY
Green infrastructure required to support Qatar’s sustainability agenda
In a major step towards a sustainable future, Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Environment has  announced its plans to invest QAR1.5 billion to develop 59 public parks in the country with development set to begin this year. Pictured here is Aspire Park located in Doha. (Image Flickr/Chris Bothwell)
LEGAL
Adjudication: An alternative dispute resolution tool for construction companies
Throughout the project, there should be a conscious effort by all parties to reduce the amount of unresolved differences or ongoing disputes among them.
CONTRACTORS
Civil contracting amid the oil price dip in Qatar
In the field of construction, the oil price decline will likely impact the timing of payments to contractors. Once delayed, payments usually tend to get further delayed. (Image Arabian Eye/Corbis)
TECHNOLOGY
Q-BIM set up by BIM professionals and experts in Qatar
Where in the past, the requests for proposal for new work included vague references such as “delivery of the project must be in BIM”, we are beginning to see more explicit definitions of client and owner expectations. (Image Arabian Eye/Corbis)
Projects
Tackling the issues in Qatar’s construction industry
Although challenges in the construction sector remain, the government of Qatar is working towards improvement with steps such as the Qatar Construction Specifications 2014 and the recent labour reforms. (Image Damon McDonald)
TECHNOLOGY
Construction technology companies witness positive response at Project Qatar 2016
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Projects
Greater enthusiasm from visitors speeds up the momentum on day three at Project Qatar
Project Qatar, which is seeing increasing footfalls on its third day, is a good opportunity for visitors to get a glimpse of all the latest technologies and solutions available in the market.
SUSTAINABILITY
Taiwan stands out at Project Qatar 2016 as it unveils new eco-friendly building products coupled with an exclusive product launch
A delegation of Taiwanese company officials and the Green Trade Project Office Taiwan are introducing attendees to Taiwan’s smart products suited for Qatar’s building and infrastructure.
Projects
Project Qatar 2016 sees successful opening on its first day
His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, Minister of Economy and Commerce, inaugurating Project Qatar 2016 – the 13th International Construction Technology and Building Materials Exhibition in Doha.
CONTRACTORS
Project Qatar opens today with an expectation to host over 35,000 professional visitors
Being held at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center this year, Project Qatar is expected to have a large number of products and equipment launches during all four days.
HUMAN RESOURCES
Your checklist to career success in 2016
For a successful career,  it helps to ensure that you are regularly present at the leading industry and career events, which fill the calendar year, as well as on-the-top regional online forums. (Image Project Qatar)
TECHNOLOGY
Planning for 3D laser scanning in the construction sector
For relatively less complex projects, such as those built for residential purposes, implementation of 3D laser scanning requires less effort while providing a high level of efficiency.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
The lowest-priced bid may mean the highest input from the employer
“Most projects do not meet planned deadlines and budgets and the employer is not fully informed of risk and its potential impact, particularly at the time that proposed variations are being considered,” says Abdulaziz Al Mulla – Astad Project Management’s chief commercial officer.
LEGAL
Unincorporated joint ventures: What precautions need to be taken
While UJVs may appear a simple, hassle-free corporate structure, they are not without their complexities. (Image Flickr/드림포유)
FINANCE
Overcoming challenges in construction amid oil crisis
Just like other regional countries, Qatar’s construction sector has been impacted by the oil price dip, making it difficult for companies and contractors to perform due to a liquidity crunch in the market.
LEGAL
Direct claims may be subcontractors’ lifeline when the contractor won’t pay
In Qatar, the law enables subcontractors to secure monies payable by the employer to the main contractor, where the main contractor becomes insolvent or is unwilling or unable to pay. (Image Arabian Eye/Corbis)
CONTRACTORS
The impact of a volatile oil market on construction contracts
A general view of cranes and building works during the construction and refurbishment of the Khalifa International Stadium – the venue for the 2022 World Cup final. While projects linked to the World Cup are scheduled to continue with the same pace, other less crucial projects are expected to see delays if the oil price dip continues. (Image Getty Images)
SUSTAINABILITY
Green buildings: Moving beyond financial benefits
While many of the new regulations, policies, standards and codes are being developed, Meshal Al Shamari, director, Qatar Green Building Council says it is better for companies – whether developers, consultants or material trading companies – to be ready for the new regime of regulations.
LEGAL
A look into Qatar Construction Specifications 2014
Section 1 of QCS 2014 deals with the welfare, safety and protection of workers. The regulation sets out the minimum requirements for the provision of welfare facilities, in addition to other minimum health
and safety requirements.
CONTRACTORS
Qatar’s logistics and warehouse infrastructure receives boost
New economic zones that are coming up closest to Hamad International Airport (HIA) and Hamad Port will help ease pressure on the country’s old port. (Image Getty Images)
TECHNOLOGY
The industry is not yet clear on what BIM is
With his structural and infrastructural design career exceeding 10 years, Naoras Khalil – BIM manager at Al Darwish Engineering – has more than six years of experience in using BIM.
CONTRACTORS
Disruption claims: Counting the cost
Disruption is a product of lost productivity of a construction project. This can be caused by many reasons, such as labour’s lower productivity. (Image Arabian Eye/Corbis)
FITOUTS
Companies with legacy space will need to rethink their corporate real estate strategy
Learning about clients’ motivations and objectives is a powerful way of developing a workplace strategy and an interior design that is bespoke and right for that client, says Matthew Kobylar, director of Interior Design and Workplace Strategy at global boutique architecture and interiors firm Arney Fender Katsalidis.
SUSTAINABILITY
While the sun shines: Exploring solar opportunities for Qatar projects
By 2021, Qatar plans to generate at least two percent of its electricity via solar power. (Image Arabian Eye)
TECHNOLOGY
BIM in Qatar: The demand and supply scenario
BIM provides a virtual prototype through which the design may be refined and improved prior to the actual commencement of construction.
REAL ESTATE
Are Qatar’s residential rentals heading for a correction?
In The Pearl-Qatar, DTZ estimates that new supply of apartments is likely to increase by 30 to 40 percent in 2016 as up to 13 new towers in Porto Arabia and Viva Bahriya are near completion. (Image Foto Arabia)
LEGAL
Settling disputes in Qatar: The legal requirements
The settlement of disputes arising under a construction contract during the life of a project very often leads to an amendment to the original terms of the contract. (Image Rob Deutscher/Flickr)
EQUIPMENT
Qatar is a growing market for luxury transportation
Speaking with QCN, Mike Fritz, general manager, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, FAMCO, said that the company has a huge portfolio in some countries, especially in the United Arab Emirates, and gradually it will add more products to its portfolio in Qatar.
SAFETY
Evaluating the strength of fire-damaged buildings
Depending on the duration and intensity of temperature, fire cannot only damage the surface but also the steel rebar inside thereby affecting the durability and longevity of buildings for future use. Pictured in the site at a Turkish restaurant which caught fire after a gas explosion in Doha in 2014. (Image Arabian Eye/Reuters)
INFRASTRUCTURE
Partial operations at Hamad Port expected to improve Qatar’s position amid GCC construction doubt
A ship sprays water during a ceremony marking partial opening of the Hamad Port in Mesaieed, Qatar. (Image Arabian Eye/Reuters)
INFRASTRUCTURE
Streamlining offshore construction with a modular approach
A modular approach to offshore construction can save time and money by reusing designs for similar projects. Pictured here is a drilling platform under construction.
CONTRACTORS
Killer contract clauses: Avoiding the trap of contingent payment terms
A typical project would involve at least a dozen of subcontractors working under the main contractor, and the numbers could be even more in the case of mega projects. (Image Arabian Eye/Corbis)
SUSTAINABILITY
Trash to treasure: Recycling construction waste in Qatar
Qatar has set up a target of recycling 38 percent of the country’s total solid waste by 2030, from the current figure of four percent.
HUMAN RESOURCES
Your guide to finding a job in Qatar
When looking for a job in Qatar, the length of a typical job search can last from three to six months. (Image Flickr/ kate hiscock)
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Qatar – a country experiencing major civil engineering challenges and initiatives
Speaking with QCN, David Williams, lead director – Qatar, WSP l Parsons Brinckerhoff, says that the challenges of cutting edge engineering are confronted every day in Qatar, and that’s what makes the market so exciting.
INFRASTRUCTURE
Qatar reviews its construction for preparedness during rain
Streets across Doha, especially the ones in Al Waab area, were adversely affected by the recent rainfall in Qatar. Pictured here is a flooded street with drainage works under way. (Image Steve Adcock Photography)
LEGAL
Know your rights: Key provisions of the Labour Laws in Qatar
In Qatar, there are about 1.4 million migrant workers, most of whom are linked to the construction sector. (Image Arabian Eye/Corbis)
REAL ESTATE
Impacts of falling oil prices on Qatar’s real estate market
Recent redundancies in various oil and gas companies due to restructuring throughout the sector has created an increase in vacancy levels in the prime residential market over the last six months.(Image Mohamod Fasil/Flickr)
INFRASTRUCTURE
Qatar construction in 2015, 2016 and beyond
Based on its growth rate during 2014, BMI Research dubbed Qatar as the fastest growing construction market in the Gulf Cooperation Council. (Image FotoArabia)
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Against the clock: Addressing delays in Qatar construction projects
To meet project deadlines, contractors in Qatar can get permit from the the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning allowing them to work 24/7 on crucial projects.
MEP
MEP requirements for the 2022 World Cup stadiums
In successfully delivering the 2022 World Cup, it is imperative for Qatar to abide by FIFA’s requirements for stadiums, which include both civil and MEP works. (Image Arabian Eye/Corbis)
MATERIALS
The dynamics of resin flooring in Qatar have changed over the last few years
According to Vik Vithlani, business development manager of Flowcrete Middle East, resin flooring can be accommodated in a wide range of budgets due to its extensive list of options.
HUMAN RESOURCES
What are A-players in Qatar looking for?
HUMAN RESOURCES
From project-based visas to regional transfers: Solutions to address Qatar’s labour shortage
For main contractors in Qatar, there are a number of routes available to procure labour. These include applying for new visas to hire people, partnering with local companies, and/or awarding parts of the work to subcontractors. (Image Arabian Eye)
TECHNOLOGY
Perfecting acoustics in Qatar’s schools
One of the problems linked to schools' acoustics in Qatar is the external noise, mostly coming from construction projects underway in the vicinity. (Image Foto Arabia)
INFRASTRUCTURE
On the safe side: Road safety audits in Qatar
Considering their benefits, Road Safety Audits should be seen as part of the design process rather than an addition to it.
LEGAL
Is your claim time-barred?
Qatari law provides that it is unlawful for a party to exercise its rights if the interest to be achieved is disproportionate to the loss to be suffered by the other party (Article 63 of Civil Code). (Image Flickr/24oranges.nl)
TECHNOLOGY
Regional greenfield projects to double in next two to three years
Qatar is among the front-runners in the Middle East to adopt many smart city practices, which include not only building greenfield projects but also integrating city infrastructure with the information and communication technology. (Image Fotoarabia)
SAFETY
Avoiding onsite disasters through safety training
(Flickr/John Maddin)
2022 WORLD CUP
Qatari construction stakeholders eye 2022 World Cup deadline amidst oil crisis
Even during this period of turbulently fluctuating oil prices, Qatari stakeholders are resolute to deliver their projects in time for 2022. (Image Flickr/Alexandru Panoiu)
TECHNOLOGY
AV in the Gulf construction sector: Projects, trends and challenges
Among some of Qatar’s projects featuring advanced audio-visual technology is the Hamad International Airport. (Image Flickr/Jademattma)
2022 WORLD CUP
Ghost Towns: Will Qatar’s stadiums fall into disuse after 2022?
“Maintenance costs are far greater than initial construction costs on any given facility and that’s so much more true for stadiums.” – Andrew Seibel, vice president of Bobrick Washroom Equipment. (Image Arabian Eye/Corbis)
MATERIALS
Consultants typically drive the material standards and quality in Qatar
George Xydas, director and partner of Drywall Qatar, says that as most of the building materials are imported to Qatar, all entry points into the country are overwhelmed with the sheer volume of products that need to be transported and delivered to construction sites.
REAL ESTATE
From local to global: Standardising Qatar’s property market
While still under consideration in Qatar, the International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS) is receiving huge support in the United Arab Emirates, which was also the first government in the world to commit to adopt IPMS.
LEGAL
Barriers to accessing dispute resolution in construction contracts
The last few years have seen the development of escalation clauses in construction contracts in Qatar. There are now additional pre-conditions to referring a dispute to arbitration here. (Image Flickr/Lynn Lin)
TECHNOLOGY
Demonstrating extensions of time: Do We Need P6?
It is common to face delays in the construction of large-scale projects.  In Qatar, software such as P6 are increasingly being used to create extension of time documents in the event of delays.  (Image Arabian Eye/Corbis)
HVAC
2022 World Cup to change Qatar’s air-conditioning market
The Gulf Cooperation Council’s air-conditioning market is expected to increase by almost 3.5 percent. (Image Arabian Eye/Reuters)
MATERIALS
Growth of construction chemicals in Qatar reflects improving building standards
Broadly divided into three categories – construction system chemicals, admixture system chemicals and underground construction system chemicals – use of construction chemicals with primary building materials can significantly improve the quality of Qatar’s ongoing infrastructure projects such as airports, subways, tunnels, dams, highways, bridges, railway networks, and power plants, etcetera.
HUMAN RESOURCES
How to secure your job in a not-so-secure marketplace
77 percent of employers in the Gulf region, including Qatar, believe that online recruitment has facilitated their hiring processes. Another 69 percent say that first impressions matter a lot in a job interview.  (Image Flickr/Flazingo Photos)
SUSTAINABILITY
Four sustainable design philosophies Qatar needs today
Considering electricity is one of the key contributors towards hydrocarbons consumption in Qatar, curtailing it is on the government’s top agenda. With hot summer conditions and intense sunlight during the daytime, Qatar should consider incorporating built-in solar panels along the roofs of all developments.
HUMAN RESOURCES
A home away from home for Qatar’s migrant workers
Migrant workers walk back to their accommodation at Ezdan 40 compound after finishing work. (Image Getty Images)
INTERIORS
Green fit-outs do not appear to be high on the list of priorities in Qatar
Neil Robson, director and co-founder of Belle Harvey Interiors.
LEGAL
To pay or not to pay: Liquidated damages under Qatar Law
Qatar's Civil Code provides that the contractor will not be liable for liquidated damages if he establishes that the employer did not suffer any damage. (Image John Brawley/Flickr)
FINANCE
Prospects of public-private partnerships for Qatar’s infrastructure
With increasing demand for infrastructure development, governments in the GCC are looking to partner with the private sector for the skills and expertise to develop and execute projects, to bring efficiency in management of projects, and to provide employment for growing young populations. (Image Arabian Eye/Corbis)
REAL ESTATE
Qatar’s real estate registers impressive performance in H1
Qatar’s property market is currently driven by increased sales in the residential and developed land segments. (Image Damon McDonald)
INFRASTRUCTURE
Making Qatar’s road network sustainable for the future
Qatar's road network should be designed based on the urban area that it covers, taking into account its function that may be industrial, residential or touristic, etcetera.
TECHNOLOGY
Gulf cities are vying to be smarter, more sustainable, and better connected
Qatar is the second most competitive economy in the Middle East. To maintain this, Ghassan Bharghouth, the executive president of Schneider Electric in Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, says that the country must continue investment on education, research, foreign trade, infrastructure and hospitality as these industries can benefit from smart solutions. (Image Fotoarabia)
SUSTAINABILITY
The noise and nuisance of construction in Doha
Construction noise is an inevitable reality in Doha, where massive construction is currently in progress. Some of the most common means of construction noise mitigation include noise barriers, acoustic enclosures, use of excavated soil as embankments, and conduction of noisy activities during the daytime in residential areas.
HUMAN RESOURCES
Qatar construction: The next generation
Having spent almost three decades in the construction industry, Al Jolo sounds passionate about the future of Qatar and the kind of role young Qataris can play for the country’s construction sector. 
(Image Syed Ameen Kader)
HUMAN RESOURCES
Top 10 skills employers in Qatar are looking for
According to Bayt.com's recent survey results, 58 percent of construction employers in Qatar say engineering experience is the most important thing they look for.(Image Flazingo Photos/Flickr)
CONTRACTORS
Industry Views: A centralised grading system can and should be used in the private sector
HVAC
Qatar’s stadiums will need to be air-conditioned irrespective of the weather
The use of outdoor cooling is still not popular in Qatar, which, according to Mohamed Salem, is because of the inability of the traditional methods to work successfully in the open air. With advanced cooling solutions available now, the country can increase the overall attractiveness and useability of its open-air venues such as Katara’s Ampitheatre pictured here. (Image Isabell Schulz/Flickr)
LEGAL
Successful joint ventures: Avoiding internal disputes
A number of mega projects under construction in Qatar are operated through joint ventures. A successful joint venture often requires the partners to focus and agree on a few fundamental issues. (Image Joshua Davis/Flickr)
REAL ESTATE
Qatar’s Real Estate Development Law: A means toward an end
Among some of Qatar’s freehold properties open for foreign investors are the Zig Zag Towers located in The Pearl-Qatar, targeted towards the high-end residential market. (Image Damon McDonald/Flickr)
HUMAN RESOURCES
Implications of Qatar’s mandate for using AC in vehicles for transporting workers
Migrant workers wait for a bus in central Doha. Often, they travel long distance in non-AC vehicles to get to their workplaces in Qatar.
CONTRACTORS
Back-to-back contracts: Can they truly exist?
In a back-to-back contract, the rights, liabilities and interests of the contractor under the main contract are the same as rights, liabilities and interests of the subcontractor under the subcontract in relation to the subcontract’s scope.
REAL ESTATE
Project update: Rapid progress at The Pearl-Qatar
UDC’s current priority is to complete all 10 precincts of The Pearl-Qatar while at the same time remain focused to core businesses such as sales, retail, facilities management, district cooling and assets management.
CONTRACTORS
Qatar’s construction market is currently focused on everything ‘mega’
Al Sraiya Holding Group’s vice chairman, Rashid Sraiya Al Kaabi says that as a diversified group they offer a range of integrated services delivered through one brand name.
TECHNOLOGY
BIM: Shaping the future of Qatar construction
“Today, the requirement for BIM is being written into contracts more and more, and the take-up has been extraordinary. But the need continues in Qatar for real education in BIM best practices,” says Andy Glyde, Bentley’s sales director, project delivery, EMEA and Turkey.
LEGAL
Assignment of rights in Qatar’s construction projects
Employers, contractors and consultants enter into various construction contracts, which sometimes need to be assigned or transferred to a third party in terms of rights, obligations or both. (Image Corbis)
CONTRACTORS
Bid Shopping: An obstacle to fair market competition
Foundation works ongoing at Qatar's New Orbital Highway and Truck Route project. (Image Ashghal)
2022 WORLD CUP
Solution providers must invest and demonstrate a commitment to the Gulf
With more than 20 years of experience in the cabling/interconnect industry, Simon Cowley has held several engineering, product management, and engineering management positions with leading solution providers.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Place Vendôme: Qatar’s new mega project
As a luxury retail space, Place Vendôme will feature some of the leading fashion brands from across the world.
HUMAN RESOURCES
Tough choices: Recruitment in Qatar construction
Unlike other sectors such as oil and gas, most of the skilled and senior staff members in Qatar’s construction sector are expatriates coming from diverse parts of the world.
LEGAL
Impacts of new regulations in Qatar Construction Specifications 2014
In some contracts awarded by government entities in Qatar, references to the term ‘laws’ expressly include amendments or modifications. This means that a contractor or consultant who is party to those government contracts must therefore comply with QCS 2014’s new requirements when executing a live project.
FINANCE
Financing Qatar’s mega projects
For the last several years, Qatar has recorded significant budget surpluses, building up a diversified savings and investments portfolio both at home and around the world. (Image SeniorLiving.Org)
LEGAL
Construction law and legal practice in Qatar
Law and the contract terms are a consideration at every stage of a construction project. Navigated correctly, and with assistance from construction law specialists, parties to construction contracts should have clarity as to their role, the risks and their reward. (Image Mark Harkin/Flickr)
HUMAN RESOURCES
Labour reforms for Qatar’s future construction
As long as busloads of workers are transported from labour camps to work long hours in the Qatar's construction industry, improving labour relations remains a top priority.
MEP
High growth offering both risks and rewards to specialist subcontractors
Qatar’s MEP industry is in a crucial phase now and exposed to many risks due to the low price and demanding schedule offered by the main contractors. (Image Flickr/Charles Haynes)
HVAC
Stakeholders’ engagement is crucial to the success of district cooling projects
Exterior view of the district cooling plant located in The Pearl-Qatar. In 2010, the ‘The Integrated District Cooling Plant’ was launched as the largest district cooling plant in the world.
REAL ESTATE
What does 2015 hold for Qatar’s property market?
Land in Qatar has been marked by high prices and even higher levels of interest.
MATERIALS
Supply for pipes and casts is still way below the market demand
The Advanced Pipes and Casts Company’s plant recently launched in Qatar has an annual production capacity of 450,000 tonnes. (Image APC)
MATERIALS
Standardising Qatar’s concrete industry through certification
Construction continues unabated in Doha as Qatar prepares its infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup.
CONTRACTORS
New construction solutions in Qatar: An interview with Samsung C&T
Thomas Cho is the country director of Samsung C&T Corporation in Qatar. He joined Samsung C&T in 1988. Cho has followed up on many large-scale projects in Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Mumbai.
LEGAL
Qatar’s construction laws on material procurement in Qatar
With Qatar’s construction industry heavily dependent on imported materials such pipes and concrete, companies operating in the country must be aware of the State’s laws related to material procurement before signing a contract. (Image Marc Samsom /Flickr)
Projects

Role of construction in Qatar’s tourism sector

One of the future attractions for tourists is the National Museum of Qatar currently under construction in central Doha.

One of the future attractions for tourists is the National Museum of Qatar currently under construction in central Doha.

Tourism is considered to be a key growth area in Qatar National Vision 2030. Naturally, the construction industry has a large role to play in developing Qatar’s tourism sector, writes Mark Shea – head of Hospitality Middle East at Faithful+Gould.

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Global events such as the 2022 World Cup and other major sporting tournaments, together with Qatar’s diverse cultural offering are great drivers to boost the country’s tourism industry. Growth of tourism, in turn, also brings the requirement and demand for new facilities such as hotels, entertainment hubs and greater capacity in the country’s transport infrastructure. Taking the future demand into consideration, the Gulf state has a significant number of new hotel rooms planned or in the pipeline. In the past, hotel developers looked at five-star luxury hotel developments due to their high revenues per unit which is in contrast to the emerging trend for three- and four-star properties that have proven to have comparable profit percentages. That said, in the quest of building new projects, it is important not to forget the existing assets that will require refurbishment and maintenance to protect the standards that we are used to seeing in the region.

Key projects 

One of most prominent impacts of Qatar’s growing tourism sector will continue to be seen on its airport facility. While the country opened its new hub-and-spoke facility, Hamad International Airport (HIA), in 2014, major extensions are currently under progress to further increase the airport’s passenger and cargo capacity. This, of course, will also mean continued expansion of the national carrier, Qatar Airways, providing a major transportation hub and key gateway for visitors to Qatar.

While the continued development of infrastructure required to host the 2022 World Cup will be a high priority in the short term, investment for the development of cultural offerings such as museums will not only broaden the range of entertainment spots for tourists during the World Cup but will also serve as an asset for Qatar’s long-term goals of promoting its tourism sector. One such project is the National Museum of Qatar. Located in central Doha, the under-construction museum inspires its design from the crystal formation of a desert rose. 

Likewise, the development of themed entertainment centres, such as those planned at Doha Oasis, will also provide opportunities for local and international tourism. Similarly, the under-construction Mall of Qatar claims it will bring a unique Live Interactive Visual Entertainment centre to the city. Some other recreational attractions scheduled to come to Qatar in the future include Angry Birds Activity Park, Juniverse and Virtuocity for kids, teens and adults. 

Apart from cultural and recreational facilities, it is important to recognise the impact a broad retail, food and beverage offering will bring to a destination in support of its tourism development. While the construction of hotels progresses, Qatar must not lose sight of the development and refurbishment of its existing eateries across the various segments from budget to luxury.

Construction challenges 

Like any other project, tourism projects in general face the same challenges affecting the overall construction sector. Some obvious issues include securing skilled labour and the right resources to undertake the projects necessary to expand the tourism sector, securing appropriate visas for the expatriate workforce, and making sure that there is sufficient social infrastructure in place for the workers, such as affordable workers’ accommodation, while trying to manage wage rise inflation.

Availability of key materials to support the construction industry is also a key concern given the volume of construction work that is anticipated over the course of the next five years across the wider Middle East region.

The summer periods are harsh with high temperature and humidity levels, which make the provision of projects with external elements difficult.

Apart from these generic challenges, projects related to tourism are specially more sensitive to the environmental conditions here. Therefore, in designing and building these projects, there has to be an appreciation of the natural climate. Building environments need temperature-controlled conditions in their operational state and this must be factored in right from the design outset. Careful consideration of the position of buildings within plots and orientation when considering sun paths, can impact on the shading and cooling loads required of the building systems. Proper attention to detail during the design detailing and real supervision of the building operations are key. For instance, the quality of build can help minimise air leakage from buildings and reduce the overall cooling requirements. 

Undertaking formal training and handover to the operators/maintenance teams of hospitality and leisure projects led by the designers and constructors of the building MEP systems will be invaluable so as to prevent such MEP systems from being operated differently to the way that they were designed to run in the first place.

The summer periods are harsh with high temperature and humidity levels, which make the provision of projects with external elements difficult. Innovation and development of off-site pre-fabrication and the development of repetitive and simple component parts to install will assist. It would be equally significant to give due consideration to programming of major works in an external environment to be undertaken in the cooler months.

In terms of the overall quality of the project, it is important to look at the owner’s motivation. Though not always, a project owner, who is looking to develop and sell on assets as part of an investment strategy, may only look to construct as cost effectively as possible, in order to increase the opportunity for margin. On the other hand, an owner with a longer-term mindset and one who is interested in the operational costs and efficiencies of the building in performance will be open to the options to spend more capital in the expectation of significant operational cost savings in the future.

Lessons learnt

Across the region, there are many examples of tourism projects that have been a success. The development of luxury hotels and destination resorts has been a great success, with generally good levels of occupancy and good rates being achieved. In many ways, the region is synonymous with the provision of luxury and opulent destinations with a corresponding level of service. The development of major shopping and retail malls, often with hotel accommodation attached, has been well received in the marketplace, and continue to perform well while providing an added draw to the tourists. 

While the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is full of success stories for its tourism facilities, many projects within the region did not turn out as expected. However, rather than looking at individual projects, it is important to understand the reasons behind their failure and identify the lessons to learn. 

PwC’s Middle East Capital Projects & Infrastructure Survey from June 2014, using insights from 130 project owners across the GCC, identified that more than 95 percent of projects are delayed beyond the original schedule, with 44 percent delayed by more than six months. To add to this, 71 percent of projects were reported as being over budget with six percent being more than 50 percent over budget. 

In designing and building tourism projects in the region, there has to be an appreciation of the natural climate.

While the Middle East is an intensely competitive market, we are still seeing a lack of expertise in design and implementation causing budgets to soar out of control. Understanding an owner’s intention for the development of an asset from the outset can impact the approach to design and construction, leaving little room for expenditure on efficient design or sustainability despite a growing demand from the end user and the necessity for cutting costs in light of the current economic slump.

Clearly, there are numerous reasons for such significant numbers of projects being over budget and late in their delivery. In order to avoid such incidents, it is important to set realistic project expectations from the start, along with a carefully constructed brief. In addition to the brief, the development of a realistic development budget – that is used to inform development appraisals with value at the forefront – together with the identification of appropriate timelines for the completion of each project stage, are some of the key elements to setting a project on the right path from the outset. A design that is well considered and developed to an appropriate level to allow procurement of construction partners, with the correct apportionment of risk, is another factor to be considered.

Despite best-laid plans, mistakes can happen on any construction project. However, robust reporting and monitoring during the various project stages will help to identify potential areas of concern early enough in the project lifecycle so that remedial actions can be taken to bring projects back on track.