With the London 2012 Olympic Games over, attention is turning to the world’s fastest growing economy–Qatar–and its US$140 billion plan to hold the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar has announced that it will spend tens of billions of dollars on new projects to prepare for the World Cup 2022. To name a few projects:
Doha metro: aUS$40 billion project railway network will include an east coast link, a high-speed link, a freight link and a light rail system. The railway will serve the suburb of Doha and developments such as Lusail, Education City and West Bay and the world cup stadiums.
New Doha International Airport: a US$14.5 billion project. The passenger terminal will be a multi-level terminal of approximately 600,000 square meters; 41 contact gates and 23 remote gates. It will have capacity for 24 million passengers per annum.
New world-class seaport: a US$7 billion project. The port will be linked to the mainland by an 8.5 km long trestle bridge and will cover an area of 20 square kilometres. The project scope also includes construction of five general cargo terminals and berths, four container terminals and berths, a roll-on/roll-off (Ro/Ro) berth, an administration and customs complex as well as a berthing area for tugs and pilot boats.
Lusail Development:The US$5.5 billion Lusail project is a new 38km² coastal city under construction north of Doha. The project will contain 18 different districts and will include: a lagoon with two marinas; 25,000 residential units; high and low-rise buildings; commercial districts and mixed-use areas; retail areas; two golf courses; 22 schools; and a hospital.
Qatar New Roads: US$20 billion has been allocated to road works with major projects including the Lusail Expressway, the Doha Expressway, Dukhan Freeway and Doha Bay Crossing.
Stadia: US$3 billion is being spent on stadia development. Qatar will have nine new stadia and three renovated stadia, all fully fitted with air conditioning. The 12 venues will be divided among seven host cities: Al-Daayen, Al-Khor, Al-Rayyan, Al-Shamal, Al-Wakrah, Doha and Umm Slal.
With the billions of dollars being spent on Qatar infrastructure development, there’s no question this is a booming marketplace, especially when compared to the flat construction markets around the world at the moment. Which brings me to the question I am often asked: ‘how different is it to do business in Qatar?’
I think the biggest thing that you should keep in mind when you are about to do business in Qatar is that you will be working in a foreign country with a different culture. You will not be able to run your business the way that you do at home.
One main difference is that personal relationships are very important in Qatar, as they are across most of the Middle East. People prefer to do business with people they know.
One of the other differences is that people will seem to agree with what you say when they might not actually mean it. This can be a frustrating part of doing business here. You need to learn how to tell what somebody is really thinking based on how they say or react to something. Also if you are coming from working in a busy city like London you will notice that the pace of doing business in Qatar is a lot slower than you are used to so be prepared for that.