Qatar demands “experienced contractors”

Experts say infrastructure contracts should only be awarded to well-established firms

Infrastructure projects planned ahead of the World Cup in Qatar should only be completed by “experienced contractors” that are already established in the country, according to Al Habtoor Leighton Group’s Qatar general manager Tony Saadie.

“It is essential that only experienced contractors already established in Qatar are appointed to construct the critical World Cup infrastructure, as well as the supporting infrastructure,” Saadie told The Big Project.

“It will also be of critical importance that plant, material and staff resources are able to enter Qatar easily to enable on-time construction of the numerous projects that are required by 2022.”

Representatives from the country’s General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP) discussed plans to launch 200 construction projects in the first quarter of 2011. The projects form part of the National Development Strategy, which is also linked to the 2022 plans.

The projects will cover the key sectors of health and education, in addition to improving roads, transport and social security.

Some of the projects were already planned and others have been initiated following the successful World Cup bid for 2022.

“It takes time to set up business and to establish supply chains. Businesses that are not already well established in Qatar and are interested in short-term business opportunities will be disappointed as you must invest time, resources and capital to be successful in Qatar,” Saadie added.

The Al Habtoor Leighton Group has been operating in the country since 2005.

“The most urgent projects are the Ashghal’s planned main highway projects and the Qatar Railway Development Company’s metro and high-speed rail systems, as well as the New Doha Port,” he added.

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