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Construction sector unaffected by blockade, affirm industry insiders

IBA Group CEO Hamad Mohamed Esmael al-Emadi (L), Manateq CEO Fahad Rashid al-Kaabi. PICTURES: Nasar TK

Qatar will continue to meet its target dates for major infrastructure projects despite the economic blockade, which failed to make a dent on the country’s construction sector, an industry official has said.

According to Hamad Mohamed Esmael al-Emadi, the CEO of Ismail Bin Ali (IBA) Group, concrete and steel, the main materials needed in the construction sector “are available in Qatar.”

Speaking to Gulf Times recently, al-said Emadi Saudi Arabia and the UAE “are not the only sources for building materials,” as he cited China as a major supplier of wood and tiles.

“There are also other countries where we can get a wide range of building materials,” said al-Emadi, who recently signed a QR550mn housing and recreation project with Manateq.

He noted that IBA’s agreement with Manateq, including the company’s other ongoing infrastructure projects with the government “will continue” and were not affected by the Gulf crisis.

Aside from steel and concrete, al-Emadi also said many building materials are already being produced in Qatar.

“There are also other countries that produce the same materials. There are other opportunities for Qatar’s building materials sector and they are not being limited by Saudi Arabia or the UAE,” he emphasised.

Manateq CEO Fahad Rashid al-Kaabi also said the Gulf crisis gave Qatar the opportunity to prove to the international community that “it is committed to abide by its contracts and to complete all major infrastructure projects, as well as to continue its supply of LNG.”

“Qatar has also shown that it does not mix business and politics; that’s how the country is showing the entire world that Qatar is committed to international investments,” said al-Kaabi, who noted that the economic blockade did not have any impact on Manateq’s operations.

“In fact, it’s the other way around. The siege countries are losing a lot of opportunities. Most of the suppliers from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, unfortunately, lost a lot of businesses amounting to more than QR1bn in the fields of electricity, power plant, primary stations or in other projects, which we gave to other international companies.

“The prices are also cheaper because many international companies were very supportive to Qatar because they didn’t take advantage of the situation. Negotiations with these new companies led to better prices compared to what was offered by Saudi and the UAE,” al-Kaabi said.

Responding to a query on the impact of the economic blockade on rents, al-Emadi said “rents are stable” and that “the ongoing crisis has no impact on Qatar’s property market.”

“The Gulf crisis will not push up rent prices. The market is still the same. Also, the government is still completing major projects and there are no delays in the timeframe; they want to finish all infrastructure projects in time for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and Qatar National Vision 2030,” al-Emadi said.

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