Qatar’s private sector, in particular the construction and real estate segments, forecast economic growth in the region.
The breakthrough in diplomatic relations in the Gulf region has allowed trades and businesses to gain ground in recent days, experts said.
Last week, Doha witnessed a rapid increase in trade propitious for economic growth after it went downhill in 2017 with the imposing of the blockade.
After reopening Qatari-Saudi borders, the flow of imports and exports between the Gulf neighbours are in the process of returning to normalcy.
Experts are now anticipating a sharp rise in business as many positive signs forecast steady development in the near future and across the region.
Unlike the trade market, the pace of recovery in the real estate industry will likely be gradual, according to the Chairman of the Association of Filipino & Entrepreneur Executives in Qatar (AFREEQ), Joseph Timothy Rivera.
Rivera discredited theories that property prices would now increase after the reopening of the Qatar-KSA border. Although the local economy witnessed a sudden increase in rates, the Qatar property market will not prosper overnight, the expert said in local reports.
“The reopening of borders and flights are just the beginning of the process. The resumption of trade and commerce, as well as the physical re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Qatar and the former siege nations, is daunting but we remain optimistic that this would all fall into place in a smooth and hopefully speedy manner,” he added.
Rivera also said he’s confident that more tenants will return into the country in the coming months after a turbulent few years of job losses and drop in renting rates.
The ongoing pandemic is another factor that slowed down economic development despite the reopening of borders, he noted, suggesting an end to the health crisis will undoubtedly lead to faster growth in the real estate market.
“Our western industry colleagues agree on our assessment though some of them feel that any improvement in the market soon may start from property sales first to be followed by residential and commercial rentals. In fact, some of our Arab counterparts even predict conservatively that any improvement of the market would most likely happen towards the end of the year,” added Rivera.
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Nonetheless, the construction sector is another main contributor to the national economy.
Building permits were recently issued, leading to a promising development in the local construction industry, according to official statistics.
These permits are of great importance as they are considered the main indicator of the performance of the construction sector, which in turn is a main contributor to the local economy.
The Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) confirmed a total number of 972 new building permits were issued.
In terms of geographical distribution, Al Daayen registered 26% or 248 permits, Doha received 21% or 200 permits, 19% (189) were for Al Rayan area, 9% or 90 permits were given to Umm Slal area, Al Khor was given 4% which is 41 permits, 3% or 30 permits of the total permits issued for Shahaniya and at Al Shamal 3%, or 25 permits were issued.
On a monthly basis, the construction sector witnessed a surge on a national level, with as the number of building permits issued jumping to 28.
Al Daayen witnessed a rise of 68% of permits while Al Shahaniya area increased to 58%.
Umm Slal saw a 50% increase, Al Shamal increased by 39%, Al Rayyan soared to 30% and Doha surged by 24%.
Meanwhile, Al Khor and Al Wakra registered a 13% and 9% decline respectively.
“In terms of type of permits issued, data indicates that the new building permits (residential and non-residential) constitutes 52% (507 permits) of the total building permits issued during the month of December 2020, while the percentage of additions permits constituted 44% (429 permits), and finally fencing permits with 4% (36 permits)”, according to PSA.
Villas’ top the list in new residential permits, “accounting for 77% (329 permits) of all new residential buildings permits, followed by dwellings of housing loans permits by 13% (54 permits) and apartments buildings by 8% (34 permits),” indicated by PSA.
Commercial buildings seized the top of non-residential buildings permits with 44% or 36 permits, followed by industrial buildings such as workshops and factories with 31% (25 permits), and lastly governmental buildings with 19% (15 permits).
Recent permits issued in December of last year witnessed an increase of 28% compared to permits issued in the months prior.
“The increase was noted in the most of the municipalities: Al Da’ayen (68%), Al Sheehaniya (58%), Umm Slal (50%), Al Shammal (39%), Al Rayyan (30%), Al Doha (24%), On the other hand, there was a clear decrease in the municipality of Al Khor (13%), Al Wakra (9%),” according to PSA.