A months-long legal dispute over the construction of City Center mall’s much-delayed third phase of expansion appears to have reached a settlement, Habtoor Leighton Group has said.
The UAE-based contractor filed dozens of lawsuits against Qatari company Al Faisal Holding last August. A new timeline of completion has been set for the project, which entails building three new hotels, for 18 months from now.
Habtoor Leighton, a subsidiary of Australian contracting company Leighton, launched its legal complaints after Faisal Holding sought to cash in some $100 million in performance bonds from the project.
Habtoor Leighton is building three towers on the mall’s eastern side to house new Shangri-La, Rotana and Merweb hotels.
Last fall, it said it was seeking $272 million in compensation for late payments. But Al Faisal Holding chairman Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani said at the time that the project was six years behind schedule, and lambasted the contractor’s “mismanagement of these contracts.”
According to the Australian, Leighton will continue working on the project for the next year and a half, and will be paid by its client in phases over that period. In a statement to the newspaper, the company said:
“The client has paid approximately 40 percent of the outstanding monies on the signing of the agreement and will pay a further 20 percent over the next few weeks. The balance of the remaining monies owing will be repaid over the next 18 months following handover of the remaining projects to the client.”
Habtoor Leighton has already completed two phases of work around City Center mall, including building two hotels attached to the commercial complex – the Renaissance Doha and the Courtyard by Marriott.
According to its website, the final phase consists of:
“Construction of the 50 storey, 272 guest room, Shangri-La Hotel Doha; the 50 storey City Center Rotana Hotel with 300 guest rooms and 100 apartments; and the 48-storey Merwebhotel with 256 guest rooms and 97 apartments.”
Money is utilized in desert now. Hope they utilize for the over delayed payments which contractors are facing. This way everyone are happy.
This is a common story in Qatar, many contracts keep on working in the hope the payments will eventually come but usually it is very late and a lot less than what was originally agreed. Some contractors have pulled out entirely from Qatar due to this issue. The promise of more contracts to come if you just accept our revised terms and the job that is already 50% complete is a common story, companies scared they are going to ‘miss out’ but of course those other big contracts never come.
Now Leighton are being paid again maybe they can start taking pedestrian safety around this work zone seriously as they finally complete the last building. As an Australian familiar with the company I was apalled at their pedestrian management plan which would never have been allowed back in OZ. Basically it was nothing, with pedestrians (and their own labourers) forced to walk on the hugely busy road amongst the cars. Pedestrians trying to utilise the pedestrian lights, in order to get to residential towers like Bev. Hiils etc were forced to risk their lives, this is a busy residential and commerce area. Instead of coming here with “best practice” they did nothing. Back home they know an unsafe worksite would cost them dearly, here they do the bare minimum… Because they can. When that side was completed, what did they leave? A paved “sidewalk” maybe 30cm wide, not suitable for person/pram to use at all. Why is MMUP letting these developments get away with this? When a development is approved surely pedestrian and parking facilities must be included and CD shouldn’t be allowing a building to start use without it being fully completed. Otherwise we have ridiculous situations like QIC building (no guest/customer parking, just management staff parking, despite having large walk-in business) and the new Aramex development, again another busy customer turnaround with what 4 parks and dangerous dirt access on a 100km(?) road. Then we have to wait years and years for MMUP to retrofit because the developer refuses and wants the government to pay and sort it out. Start making these developers fully responsible (like they are in their home countries) Qatar deserves better than this.
I hope future contractors learn from this and increase the price to cover this risk (i.e. change of scope, no approved variation orders, change in tax rules,…). Too often rules are changed during the course of the project. Therefore : no mercy.
several years late and still complains about money…. seems legit
So the hotels will open in 2016 – around 8 years delayed … I remember that I applied for one of the hotels back in 2009/2010 … a real shame, but totally normal in here, unfortunately …