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Qatar- The Excitement is Building!

All eyes will be on London this summer as it hosts the 2012 Olympic Games. But for Britain’s construction sector, the opening of the Games signals the end of its home market spike.

With the UK facing economic stagnation, attention is turning to the world’s fastest growing economy as the region's most lucrative construction project, the $140 billion plan to hold the 2022 World Cup, will be staged in the tiny country of Qatar.

It’s generally recognized that the current generation of rulers in the Persian Gulf region is in the midst of a building race that often takes the shape of obsessive modernizing and rivalries over who can build the tallest skyscraper, who can assemble the most successful Champions League soccer club, who has the largest deep-water port or airport, or who has a Guggenheim museum. It's also about who can create the most sustainable green city or the fastest Formula One racetrack or both in the same place!

Now it’s Qatar’s turn and it has just a decade left on its stopwatch before the FIFA World Cup takes center stage in Doha and the whole world’s eyes will be on them.

Over the next 10 years Qatar will develop $140bn worth of major projects in preparation for this month long sporting spectacle. Investments will be mostly allocated to hotels, leisure, tourism, recreation and infrastructure projects.

Some of the interesting mega projects to be executed are: the international airport which is due to open this year, a deepwater seaport at US$ 5.5 billion, the US$ 4 Billion Qatar-Bahrain causeway, the US$1 billion Doha Bay Crossing linking the airport and port areas to West Bay and Lusail developments via a bridge or tunnel, 12 eco-friendly stadiums adding up to more than US$ 32 million and US$ 20 billion for new roads. That’s aside from 240 additional hotels adding 90,000 rooms to the country’s hospitality portfolio.

The value of contract awards is set to more than double from 2013 onwards and is forecast to peak in 2017 at $40bn. The rapid increase in project awards and the resulting construction work on site will strain Qatar's supply chain to breaking point.

The tight timeline for Qatar 2022 requires an urgent investment in international expertise, engineering excellence and manpower. Maxim Recruitment with its Hong Kong and UK offices and strong Middle East connections is well placed to help source this expertise.

Qatar is a country with about 300,000 very wealthy citizens and many foreigners who do all the work. Qatar's per capita income is now higher than that of Luxembourg. Migrant workers comprise a staggering 94 percent of Qatar’s workforce and the country has the highest ratio of migrants to citizens in the world

With limited domestic production of construction materials and a dependence on foreign workers and staff, most resources are expected to be in short supply, driving up costs. It’s estimated that construction costs are expected to increase by 18 percent over the next five years. Shortages are expected for resources such as cement, rebar, steel and of course skilled and unskilled labor. Indeed, Qatar may recruit up to a million additional migrant construction workers in the next decade to build the stadiums and infrastructure improvements required. These new projects will also require many professional expats from outside to move to Qatar.

The demand for energy in the state is among the highest on the planet and it is now planning to make use of its sunlight. It hopes that before 2018, 10% of total energy used for electricity generation and water desalination will come from solar power.

One of the most exciting projects underway, particularly given the vast amount of rail infrastructure projects already ongoing in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia, is the USD 42.9 billion metro Doha Metro project.

Tender documents for five major construction packages have recently been issued with as many as 70 global companies expressing their intent to bid for various parts of the metro project. 35 have pre-qualified and all companies intending to participate will need a local partner.

The 300km-long Doha Metro System will consist of four lines - the Red Line, Gold Line, Green Line and Blue Line. The project will have some 80 stations by the time it is completed,

The system will be built in four phases. Phase 1A aims to be ready by 2019, This involves 52 kilometers of track and 26 stations. Most of the track will be laid underground except for the suburban districts.

The project aims to integrate Qatar's various planned railways into a comprehensive and consolidated national railway system, and is part of the government's plan to connect Qatar to other GCC countries.

The metro will link the New Doha International Airport to the centre of Doha and will connect some of the stadiums to be used for the 2022 World Cup.

Maxim Recruitment is providing high caliber rail experienced engineers and QS’s to a wide range of clients in Hong Kong and Asia and currently in discussion with Middle East clients regarding recruitment of professional staff for this Doha Metro project. 

A US$5 billion mixed-use Golf City project is planned ahead of the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament. The project, located within the planned coastal Lusail City north of the capital Doha, will include 4,000 residential units and a golf course, and is expected to be ready by 2018.

10 new major highway projects will be tendered before the end of 2012. Qatar’s Expressway program, which consists of 30 major road projects, will involve awarding more than 100 different contracts.

If you are interested in opportunities in Qatar please see our dedicated Qatar jobs section on  www.maximrecruitment.com or get in touch with Richard Poulter on richard@maximrecruitment.com or call +852 54440094.

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