According to Arcadis, the leading global design & consultancy firm for natural and built assets, Qatar and the UAE rank second and third as the most attractive countries for infrastructure investment. Despite low oil prices in both countries, they continue to attract foreign investment due to their secure business environments, stable financial sectors and strong growth potential.
The economic diversification strategies of both Qatar and the UAE continue to create foreign investment opportunities across the construction and engineering sectors. Priorities for Qatar include new systems for transportation and improving the country’s connectivity. A new port has been developed, in part, to support the import of materials needed to deliver ambitious spending plans that satisfy both the 2030 National Vision and the more immediate 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Much of the momentum in the UAE construction sector can be attributed to Expo 2020 Dubai, with infrastructure alone for the prestigious event expected to cost more than $9 billion, according to a recent report by the Oxford Business Group. With the UAE aiming to host the world’s first sustainable Expo, it is also in need of importing sustainability expertise.
The Global Infrastructure Investment Index is published every two years and ranks 41 countries by their attractiveness to investors in infrastructure. In order to gauge their appeal, the study looked at various issues including the ease of doing business in each market, tax rates, GDP per capita, government policy, the quality of the existing infrastructure and the availability of debt finance. Combining all of these factors provided a strong overview of the risk profile for each market and how attractive each one is likely to be to potential investors.