Saturday, August 17, 2019
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Qatar’s Economic Diversification will result in Sustainable Growth in Real Estate and Infrastructure



Doha Bank hosted the first of the Bank’s planned series of allied summits during the year which was held at Four Seasons Hotel, Qatar on 24th April 2013.

The summit brought together some of Qatar’s and the region’s leading consultants and advisory firms in their specific sectors discussing opportunities and trends in Qatar’s real estate, construction and infrastructure development . The participating presenters were from Qatar’s Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’, The Boston Consulting Group, KEO International Consultants, PKF-TCH Group, Business advisors Real estate and Hospitality and from Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD).

Doha Bank Group CEO Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insights on Global economy. He said “In this month the IMF said it was lowering its outlook for world economic growth this year to 3.3 percent, down from its forecast in January of 3.5 percent. It expects U.S. economic growth of 1.9 percent this year, down from its January estimate of 2.1 percent. It expects that the combined economy of the 17 euro countries will shrink 0.3 percent in 2013. The recent IMF meeting gave thurst on policies to boost growth and employment worldwide. Sluggish global economic recovery, increasing energy production in the U.S. and slightly slower growth in China had put pressure on oil prices recently. Gold prices had fallen recently on reports Cyprus could sell a significant volume of gold. Gold and industrial metals fell hard after China reported that economic growth slowed unexpectedly in the first three months of the year.”




Doha Bank Group CEO Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted the trends impacting infrastructure development “ More than $350 bn worth projects are planned in GCC in 2013 out of which $45bn is expected to come from Qatar. Qatar is expected to grow by more than 5% in 2013. According to Qatar’s National development strategy aggregate GDP growth in 2012-2016 is expected to average to 6.9% out of which hydrocarbon growth is expected to be 4.4% and non-hydrocarbon growth is expected to be 9.1%. Qatar’s economic diversification will result in sustainable growth in real estate and infrastructure. The 2013- 2014 Qatar budget has also increased allocation for infrastructure with maximum increase on spending on public projects. “

Mr. Vinod Kambrath, a Senior Strategic Specialist in the President’s Executive Office of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal), Qatar, during his presentation echoed these sentiments and outlined the scope of projects and investment in infrastructure. He said “The investment programme over the next few years includes over US$30 billion in public infrastructure and buildings representing over 700 individual projects. These will meet Qatar Vision 2030 objectives as well as support Qatar’s base public infrastructure that will be capable of hosting Qatar 2022 and meeting the needs for the growth years beyond the world cup.

There are around 32 projects that can be considered major undertakings including hundreds of cumulative kilometres of carriageways upgraded to up to 5 lanes representing around $4.4 billion in current investment estimates. $2.4 bn of contracts were awarded in 2012 alone and a further $11 billion are under tender.

Qatar’s expressway programme alone will cover thousands of kilometres, equivalent to building a straight road from Doha to Paris, France which is over 5,000km away. The Inner Doha Re-Sewerage project being undertaken by Ashgal is another major example of Qatar’s commitment. The project will cover over 30km of a main sewage trunk, more than 70km of interceptor tunnels, over US$2.75 bn in contractor tenders and an 8-year implementation programme.

The opportunities that exist in this sector alone are numerous and cover professional consultancy services, contracting, technology systems and equipment, as well as the supply of goods and materials to meet these immense project requirements. “

Doha Bank Group CEO, Dr. R. Seetharaman said that one of the key considerations Doha Bank makes when establishing partnerships with clients is bringing together a core team of experts as part of knowledge sharing process. This knowledge sharing session will enable our customers to be abreast of the significant developments in property and infrastructure development in Qatar.

Mr. Sven P. Gade, Group Chief Executive Officer of PKF-The Consulting House, had some interesting insights into project efficiency: “The majority of project failures are due to incomplete development program definitions. We believe in “Business-led Design” which requires a solid Business case first before green lighting any design activities. The business case is best established by independent business advisors covering Highest & Best Land Use Assessments (HBU), a land assessment and destination program, followed by a fully-fledged Market & Financial Feasibility Study (MFFS).

To avoid financial failure or failure because of incomplete project definition, sufficient time between HBU and creation of concepts by designers should be allowed. Based on target markets and product positioning, it is essential to reach a fact based consensus with the designers on development program – including budgets. This should encompass every planned structure and land use intended for the site. The key take away is that designers cannot develop concepts or components without program definition.”

Mr. Massoud Bafti, a senior member of KEO’s PMCM International Division who is the Senior Risk and Opportunity Facilitator within the project control department of the consultancy said “ For companies seeking to be competitive and effective in a lucrative and competitive marketplace, it is also imperative to understand and manage risks and opportunities. This can decrease the probability or impact of negative events and increase the probability or impact of positive events.

The commitment was essential as risks and opportunities need to be addressed proactively and consistently so that companies can communicate them openly and honestly. This is a multiple stage process and involves planning the risk management process, identifying risk and opportunities, performing specific qualitative and quantitative analysis, followed up by planning risk responses, and live monitoring and administration of controls to manage it properly. In such programmes, a standard scoring system is utilized that ranks risk by likelihood and impact to deliver targeted solutions. “

Mr. Salah Al Ayoubi, Head of Marketing at the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD) spoke about strategies for promoting sustainability in the MENA region. He said “Some of the most important considerations whilst developing new projects are the adoption of best practices that can contribute to environmental and socio-economic sustainability. GORD’s Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) is a tool that contributes to making this reality. The most important sustainability objectives of projects and principal organisations are improving human wellbeing, conserving natural resources and protecting the environment, which are core sustainability considerations of the GSAS tool. Formerly known as Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS), GSAS helps assess all types of developments starting from the macro level such as master plans for cities to the micro level such as individual buildings. GORD’s centres of excellence, including GSAS Trust, GSAS Academy, GSAS Institute and GORD Consult are working in parallel to empower the construction industry to address environmental challenges, and value and implement the concepts and strategies of sustainability.”

Mr. Ganesh Mohan, Partner and Managing Director at the Abu Dhabi office of The Boston Consulting Group who was also present at the summit in Doha said “The secret to superior economic performance is a combination of establishing and building on a sustainable competitive advantage and having a motivated and energized organization that is capable of going beyond the base essentials. Research suggests that benchmarked fortune 1000 companies demonstrate that economic factors contribute just 18% of actual profitability at these companies as opposed to a comparatively large 38% of various organizational factors that contribute directly to company profitability. “

Doha Bank Group CEO, Dr. Seethraman concluded the summit by thanking the hundreds of guests that had attended and by also thanking the guest speakers for demonstrating the key synergies that exist between Doha Bank and their respective organisations that can prove extremely beneficial to Doha Bank’s corporate clients.

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