UK construction firms ‘have the edge’ in Qatar

Director of £3.5bn Doha scheme says British will continue to snap up work over next five years

British construction companies “continue to have the edge”
when it comes to international firms winning work in Qatar, says the development director of one of the country’s biggest clients.

John Rose of Msheireb Properties – the firm behind the $5.5bn (£3.5bn), 31ha
Downtown Doha project, which will create an entirely new part of the
city comprising more than 100 buildings – said there was “a lot of
respect” for British firms in Qatar.

He said: “British firms got here first. I said to some Spanish firms who came out to Qatar recently,
‘You are about 20 years too late – 20 years behind the British’.”

The  Downtown Doha project was masterplanned by Aecom, Arup and Allies &
Morrison. The first of five phases, which will involve the creation of a
new quarter for Doha’s government buildings, is due to completed by the
end of this year. All but one of the architects involved in designing
the first phase were British-based firms.

Rose said opportunities for UK contractors, consultants and subcontractors would continue over
the next five years as the work built up. He added that a UK
construction delegation to the country before Christmas included “every
major UK contractor and architect”.

“They were out here talking about opportunities and there is a lot of interest here in working alongside them,” he said.

The package for the main building work on the third phase of the Downtown
Doha project, which comprises retail, commercial and cultural and
leisure work, is expected to be awarded in May this year.

Issa M Al Mohannadi, chief executive of Msheireb Properties and founder and
chair of the Qatar Green Building Council, said Qatar was embracing
sustainability and green technology and that Downtown Doha could become
the largest collection of sustainable buildings in the world.

He added that UK expertise would also be called on forthe design and
construction of the venues and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup.

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Article by Links Group on Feb 21st 2012

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