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For Qatari residents: Do you prefer a summer or winter World Cup 2022?




Right on Track

Written by  Author |   Sun, 03 May 2015 09:09


Qatar’s Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani announced that Qatar would stick with its $200 billion spending despite the plunge in oil prices. Qatar’s public spending spree is in line up with Qatar National Vision 2030 and it was long before the Arab country was selected to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.  Sheikh Abdullah also said Qatar was going steadfast with diversification as part of sustainable development in the country whose economy is expected to grow 7% this year from an estimated 6% in 2014.

Yet, according to Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P), Qatar’s economic growth will average around four percent in 2015-2018, helped by the government’s $200 billion investment program.

Actually, Qatar has enough reserves to withstand the current weak world oil price scenarios. Qatar Central Bank's foreign currency reserves are estimated at more than $40 billion and the sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority, is reported to have about a $160 billion surplus. Many economic think tanks say that these ample reserves, which have been built during the peak of oil prices, provide a "cushioning" effect for Qatar's economic growth prospects.

Qatar has mega projects for the next 10 years in line with the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the National Vision 2030. Qatar has unveiled ambitious plans to upgrade infrastructure including, a well-integrated road and rail network comprising, metro rail, roadways, highways and flyovers, upgrades to airports to accommodate the anticipated spurt in tourists and passengers and connecting the venues to the games, which are all situated in and around Doha. As work begins on the nine stadia to host prestigious World’s sporting events, a $62 billion budget has been allocated in the 2014-15 budget toward infrastructure, hotels, transport and stadia, and Qatar’s largest infrastructure budget till date has zoomed 16 percent over 2013-14 allocations, according to a report by Ventures Middle East.

Some of the mega infrastructure projects include the $7 billion New Doha Port project, allocation of $20 billion towards construction of roadways and highways and the biggest of them being the construction of 8 Eco-friendly stadia at an estimated cost of over $32 billion, some of which are being built afresh, while others are to be refurbished. Work has already begun on seven of the eight stadiums scheduled for the World Cup at Lusail, Al Wakrah, Al Khor, Al Rayyan, New Airport, the Khalifa Stadium and the Qatar Foundation Stadium. Transportation is also a cornerstone of the infrastructure upgrade budgeted in 2014, including allocations for the completion of the Hamad International Airport, which is now completed and operational contributing to the new increased influx of population in the run up to the World Cup 2022 event.

Construction contracts have been witnessing a steep upward trend from $18 billion in 2012 to $38 billion in 2014 and are estimated to climb further steeply to $49 billion in 2015. Strong environmental foundations have also been built in by adopting green codes of construction and environmentally friendly technology while building stadia and other infrastructure to host the World Cup 2022 event.

Based on its vast experience of tracking construction markets across the GCC and MENA region, Ventures Middle East indicates that the World Cup among other factors have helped Qatar speed up its developmental plans, which it continues to view as its primary goals of sustainability and improvements in standards of living for its masses.

Transport development key to Qatar's infrastructure development

The rapid population growth and limited space available for new roads has exacerbated the situation while lack of adequate traffic management schemes, coupled with the high number of current vehicles on roads have increased the demand for alternative modes of transport in Qatar.

Actually, Qatar is undergoing some tremendously exciting and ambitious infrastructural developments which are going to improve all aspects of transportation in the country. With the completion of the new Hamad International Airport (HIA),  the rail network is essential in order to reduce the number of cars on the roads.

A significant proportion of Qatar’s infrastructure investment is currently focused on the development of a modern rail network under the control of the Qatar Rail Company (Qatar Rail), of the Qatar Rail Development Program (QRDP). The QRDP consists of a two phase metro network: a light rail transit system and a long distance passenger and freight rail network.

As an integral part of the QRDP, the Doha Metro project will consist of four lines with the metro network extending over the Greater Doha area. The project will include connections to town centers and vital commercial and residential areas throughout the city.

The Expressway Program is a nationwide road infrastructure scheme that will improve the way people and places are connected across the city of Doha and wider Qatar. It will deliver over 900 kms of new roads and an array of underpasses, flyovers and multi-level interchanges to enable free-flowing traffic and improved journey times.

So too, Doha is undertaking extensive road works to alleviate the significant traffic congestion with the construction of the New Orbital Highway & Truck Route. This project will create an expressway with dedicated truck lanes to the west of Doha City linking the New Doha Port and Mesaieed Industrial City in the south with Al Khor in the north. The project will provide better connectivity for Dukhan, Mesaieed Industrial City and Ras Laffan Industrial City. It will create a North – South connector without having to go through Doha City; thus, reducing traffic and congestion within Doha.

Contract for the first phase of the Doha metro network is the largest in 2015

In Qatar, the largest award expected in 2015 will be the systems, rolling stock and track work of the first phase of the Doha Metro network. Bidders have given presentations to the client, Qatar Rail. Offers for the multibillion-dollar deal were submitted in March by Germany’s Siemens; a team of Italy’s Ansaldo STS and Spain’s CAF; a group of three Japanese companies – Mitsubishi, Hitachi and Kinkyshario, and France’s Thales. The six-year contract covers the design, integration, manufacturing, supply, delivery, testing and commissioning of the trains and other required equipment. Qatar Rail is now inviting companies to submit their interest on separate civil works and railway systems contracts expected to be awarded by the middle of 2016.

The first includes building 146km of railway line from the border with Saudi Arabia to Mesaieed, New Doha Port and Doha West International station, which will have a connection to the Doha Metro. The lines will carry passengers at speeds of up to 200km an hour and freight at up to 120km/hr.


 

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