Combinations of international standards “challenging” in Qatar

Contractors attempting to bridge European and US standards

One the one hand it’s a healthy sign of a developing market, but on the other the development of Qatar’s materials market is leading to confusion over regulatory and quality standards.

Speaking to The Big Project during Project Qatar, Mapei business development director, Laith Haboubi, said demonstrating the value of regulations and standards Mapei has achieved internationally remains a challenge in Qatar’s materials market.

“That has been one of the challenges in Qatar. We are trying to emphasis more on the international standards which we also comply with,” he explained. “European standards are good and recognised but we do find a lot of the work here is US-standard driven, which has given us challenges to a different extent. Obviously we are very large in the American market, but I think the initial surprise for us here is how US-centric the established specs are here.

“We are slowly breaking those barriers, by bridging the European and American standards,” he added.

Mapei’s sales for Q1 this year have already matched the whole in 2011 and Haboubi added he can see “parallels” between the Qatari market today and Emirati market of last decade, adding: “There are a lot of contractors and engineers who moved from the Emirates to Qatar and brought a lot of experience with them, so the same mistakes that were made in the Emirates will not be made here and for us, that’s what we call a developing market.”

Mapei’s aim during Project Qatar is to continue to strengthen its market presence, seeking to capitalise on an estimated US$22.149 billion worth of projects, expected to be awarded across the country in 2012.

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