Qatar - Country Commercial Guide
Architecture Engineering & Construction

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-01-30

Overview

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a slowdown in the architecture, engineering, and construction sectors, despite the government’s plans outlined in the Qatar National Vision 2030 and for the 2022 FIFA World Cup infrastructure development.  Several projects which were expected to be completed in 2020, are now delayed until the end of 2021 (i.e., the construction of Lusail Stadium). Since being awarded the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the construction industry has become the largest non-minerals industry in Qatar, accounting for 15% of GDP. 

Although still not at pre-2019 levels, construction activity in Qatar remains resilient, as government spending has continued to finance projects. The construction sector has been one way to diversify the economy, pursue other opportunities, and expand from dependence on the oil and gas sector.  As a result, funding toward construction projects have remained steady for much of 2021.

More than one million visitors will come to Qatar to attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup, so the country has been quickly and steadily building a network of new hotels for guests and developing a state-of-the-art transportation system/infrastructure to meet future tourists’ and expatriate needs.  Qatar Rail opened its first metro line in May 2019 and then two additional lines with the entire network serving 37 stations.  Overall, construction of the Doha metro line, stadiums, and road networks are still underway in the country as the World Cup nears.

Focus areas for the construction sector in Qatar are hospitality, residential, highways, port development, new military base development, and infrastructure development (healthcare, education).  The construction sector is fueled by factors such as growing urbanization, influx of expatriate population for work, the World Cup, regional political dynamics, and the National Vision 2030 goals to invest in world-class infrastructure and build efficient delivery mechanisms for public services.

Construction Sector Prospects

A lack of project opportunities following the 2022 World Cup could weigh heavily on construction growth in Qatar, particularly in the non-residential and transport sectors.  After 2022, industry experts are expecting a reduced pipeline and moderate growth as large-scale projects are completed. Most construction components for Qatar Energy’s (formerly Qatar Petroleum) North Field LNG Expansion project have been awarded as of late 2021.  The North Field Expansion project will increase Qatar’s LNG capacity and increase demand for LNG-related infrastructure and maintenance after the initial buildout, which is expected to last until about 2026.

The Qatari government’s adoption of a new law governing public-private partnerships (PPPs) was approved by the cabinet in April 2019 and signed by the Amir in May 2020. This PPP law is a positive signal for further opportunities to gain access to the country’s infrastructure sector, allowing a structure by which U.S. firms can access and develop public-sector infrastructure development opportunities.  This law lays the foundation to enhance and complement the development of additional new projects in Qatar, including but not limited to the construction of new roads, tunnels, schools, telecommunications projects, hotels, and hospitals. Qatar is set to award projects that utilize the PPP mechanism with an estimated combined value of $85 billion by 2030.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

  • Building materials
  • Engineering and architectural services
  • Construction and project management services
  • Specialized contractors and service providers for education and healthcare facilities

Opportunities with Major Government Agencies and Quasi-Government Entities

  • Ministry of Municipality
  • Ministry of Environment and Climate Change
  • Public Works Authority (Ashghal)
  • Ministry of Transport
    • Qatar Rail
    • Hamad International Airport
    • Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani)
  • Ministry of Communications and IT
  • Qatari Diar/Lusail Real Estate Development Company
  • Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (Qatari government organizing committee for FIFA World Cup 2022)
  • Private Engineering Office
  • Qatar Foundation
  • Qatar Energy (formerly Qatar Petroleum)

The public and private sectors rely heavily on international expertise in the areas of architectural, construction, and engineering services, creating significant opportunities in this sector for U.S. firms.  U.S. firms are largely present in the design, project, and construction management/supervision services field. 

Largest Ongoing Infrastructure Projects

Project

Total Project Value (USD, Billions)

Actual or Expected Completion Date

Details

Lusail

45.0

2021

Mixed-use development

Qatar Rail

40.0

2026

Metro and rail links

Major Expressway Program

20.0

Ongoing

Ashghal expressways

Hamad International Airport Expansion – Terminal 2

15.5

2022

Hamad International Airport

Local Roads

14.6

2021

Ashghal roads and drainage

Barwa Al Khor

10.0

2025

Mixed-use development

Hamad Port

7.4

2020, two container terminals open

New port south of Doha

Sharq Crossing (Currently on hold)

5.0

2021

Crossing for Doha Bay

 

 Resources

Contact the Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy in Doha.