Qatar’s projects unaffected by blockade

 16 Jul 2017 - 0:23

Qatar’s projects unaffected  by blockade

By Huda N V / The Peninsula

As a result of ongoing blockade, Qatar has been able to identify alternative sources for construction materials  of superior quality at competitive prices. While the country’s construction sector is running full throttle ahead, suppliers from the blockading countries have lost major opportunities in Qatar, according to experts in the sector.

“The  blockade has had no impact on the operations of construction here. However, the impact is the  other way round,  with the blockading countries loosing lots of opportunities,” said Fahad Rashid Al Kaabi, CEO of Manateq.

Speaking to the media recently he said that number of suppliers from UAE and Saudi tried approaching Qatari market  through other ports in the region. “They lost a number of opportunities due to the blockade and we had projects worth more than QR1bn  awarded to international companies. This will be announced soon,” he said.

However, contrary to the expectations, construction cost has not changed and with many countries stepping up to offer construction materials, the prices of these materials have gone down.

“The economy of  Qatar has not been effected with the current blockade. We got alternative sources for materials at reduced prices. Due to the current crisis, most of the international companies were very supportive and  they didn’t take  any advantage of Qatar. They  submitted discounts to beat the  previous prices of products.  Also, Qatar  negotiated and got the best prices,” Al Kaabi added.

Various local enterprises have also stepped up to offer several products related to the construction sector.

“We have a number of local producers for construction materials here. Many of the contractors here did not know that there are material available locally. They were importing from outside. Most of the local products are of very good quality and are  available at cheaper or competitive rates,” Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, Chairman, Qatar Chamber, told The Peninsula, at the sidelines of the “Buy Local Products” forum recently organised by the Qatar development bank.

Similar view was shared by Hamad Mohammed Esmael Al Emadi, CEO of Ismail Bin Ali Group (IBA). “The  prices of  the construction materials has not increased, in fact, some of them are have become cheaper,” he said.

While concrete/ ready-mix  and steel needed for the construction is sourced from within the country, other products needed comes from outside.

“It is not true that  we depended exclusively on UAE and Saudi for various products. We used to source products from various markets and  for now, we have lot more alternative sources, hence we do not  face any problems in the construction sector. This is mainly because there isn’t any material that is sourced exclusive from the blockading countries. There is huge import from China and other countries and we do have many products made locally within the country,” he said.

Meanwhile projects have not been streamlined and are going ahead. 

“The market is still the same, the  government is still going ahead with its projects. Our group has projects with the government which are going on in the same speed, and are pushing to finish them sooner, still working to conclude all the infrastructural work in time for the FIFA World Cup 2022,” Al Emadi added.

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