Browsing 'private sector' News

Qatar Rail_Cityscape_2018

Qatar’s real estate sector contributes a significant share in the country’s entire GDP, with infrastructure projects accounting for the highest spending. The market continues to expand, thanks to a high immigrant population, economic diversification and infrastructure development.

A new draft law recently approved by the cabinet on regulating the ownership of real estate by non-Qataris, along with tax incentives and a balanced budget, are expected to trigger growth and help the country reach an 8 percent growth mark by 2019.

In line with the requirements of Qatar’s sustainable development agenda, the seventh edition of Cityscape Qatar 2018, an annual event, was unveiled at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) on Sunday to celebrate the rapidly growing real estate sector. The event was inaugurated by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Minister of Transport and Communications, HE Jassim bin Saif al Sulaiti, informed the gathering that Cityscape Qatar 2018 will contribute to supporting the national economy by promoting various development projects.

Leading national and international developers, including Qatar Rail, United Development Company (UDC), Qatari Diar and Katara Hospitality congregated at the DECC and a number of agreements were signed.

Qatar Rail and Qatar Insurance Group signed an agreement for the first naming rights. The station naming rights is one of Qatar Rail’s enterprises intended to form a partnership with prominent local and international companies to advance their services at the stations. In another deal with Qatar Rail, Qatar National Bank (QNB) was assigned as the official Acquirer Bank for all TravelCard and Fare Media payments. Under the agreement, Qatar Rail will accept payments made with all major credit and debit cards issued in Qatar and worldwide.

Ooredoo will play a major role as communications partner. As part of its agreement with Qatar Rail, the communications giant will guarantee that the users will benefit from uninterrupted high-speed communication services during their journey through the stations and aboard the Lusail Tram.

Other attractions at the expo were Doha Metro staff uniform with its sleek, modern lines and matching colours, the design of the Doha Metro cards, high-quality virtual reality ride onboard and Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) – high density, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly developments around rail transit stations that would act as community hubs within walking distance.


Logistics hub in south Qatar


Logistics hub in south Qatar

A massive logistics hub will be created in the south of Qatar, between Hamad Port, the Mesaieed industrial area and the truck orbital route to help bolster the country’s private sector, the prime minister has announced.

Qatar’s biggest industrial and logistics center will be developed across a 6.33 million square meter site covering 1,583 plots of land between Al Wakra, Birkat Al Awamir and Aba Sali, according to a statement in Arabic on QNA.

Services will include warehouse facilities such as specialist units for cold, frozen and dry storage; assembly units; commercial offices and showrooms; light industrial areas and logistics support; parking; maintenance workshops and service centers.

Logistics hub in south Qatar


Logistics hub in south Qatar

There will be zones for labor accommodation and community amenities, including a post office, police station, civil defense station, petrol station, a mosque, supermarket and pharmacies.

The scheme aims to support the ambition of diversifying Qatar’s economy from reliance on hydrocarbons, open up the commercial market and provide a support network to the private sector.

The timetable for the entire development remains unclear, but at least construction on at least one portion of it is expected to take 2.5 years. The first lot of plots expected to be handed over to investors by the end of 2016, according to details on one image.

Applications for investors for the entire scheme open on Aug. 2 until Nov. 9, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce said.

‘Regional hub’

Unveiling the plan yesterday, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar’s PM and interior minister, said the hub would help make Qatar a competitive regional hub for investment and logistics.

Logistics hub in south Qatar


Logistics hub in south Qatar

Qatar’s Emir has previously called for a way to resolve the nation’s storage issues and to come up with a plan to promote the economic and trade sectors.

Getting enough raw materials into the country and having sufficient storage facilities in order to build projects on time has often been cited as one of the biggest challenges to Qatar’s construction and infrastructure development.

Plans for the new development also include earmarking facilities for small and medium-sized businesses.

The Minister for Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Al Thani said that 951 plots of 1,000 to 2,000 square meters would be allocated for small investors, while plot sizes of up to 67,556 sq meters would be available for medium and large investors.

Rent would be fixed at QR40 per sq meter each year, with a long-term lease contract of 30 years. Rent would have to be paid every six months, at a “competitive price” to stimulate the growth of the private sector increase trade and curb inflation, QNA reports.

Logistics hub in South Qatar


Logistics hub in South Qatar

Masterplan images revealed for “parcel A” site at Al Wakrah show an area of 3.4 million square meters, worth QR1.2 billion. Artist’s renderings show landscaped areas with recreation facilities for workers, in addition to showrooms, warehouses and industrial areas.

The announcement follows the confirmation earlier this week that a joint venture between Qatar-based UrbaCon Trading & Contracting (UCC) and Spanish firm Sacyr has would lead a QR1.69 billion contract to develop a special economic zone near Hamad International Airport.

The zone will be built in Ras Bufontas as a warehousing and logistics hub next to HIA, just east of Al Wakrah Road. It will be 4.01 square km in size and the smallest of three planned special economic zones. SEZs aim to attract more investment, as well as creating jobs and boosting trade.


Qatar skyline

Ameer Abdul Razak/Flickr

A new committee set up under Qatar’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) will push the private sector to give at least 20 percent of its jobs to Qatari nationals, in line with mandatory targets.

The special panel will enforce the existing Qatarization target and will roll out a five-point action plan that it hopes to complete by 2019, according to the Peninsula, which quotes a report in Arabic daily Al Sharq.

Through this plan, the government aims to increase the number of Qataris working in the private sector – which is currently overwhelmingly dominated by expats – and to monitor private companies to ensure they are striving to meet the quota.

The Peninsula reports that members of the panel have already met with 116 firms to talk to them about their Qatarization record and to encourage them to do more to hire nationals, and to provide training and research opportunities for Qataris.

Jobseekers’ portal

As part of the plan, the special committee will also oversee the roll-out of a new online jobs portal dedicated to Qatari jobseekers.

The site, which is expected to be launched “soon” – although no specific date has been confirmed – will include a directory of vacant posts for Qataris, in addition to lists of opportunities for research, scholarships and training.

The committee will monitor the progress of companies and regularly report on achievements and advise what more can be done to boost Qatarization.

Private sector Qataris

According to a Labor Force survey conducted last year by the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics, Qataris account for less than 1 percent of the total private sector workforce. Additionally, only 5 percent of employed Qataris hold private-sector jobs.

The National Development Strategy (NDS) 2011-16 seeks to boost this figure to 15 percent, and the new MOLSA panel is the latest step in a bid to realize this target.

Martin Cathrae/Flickr

This is a cornerstone of Qatar’s economic diversification, which aims to make Qatar more self-sufficient through appropriate training and qualification of its national workforce, particularly in private sector industries.

Labor Undersecretary Hussein Al Mulla warned last year that the private sector has no excuse not to set aside 20 percent of its jobs for nationals.

Companies ignoring the directive would “have to face the music,” he added – although there has been no official outline of the penalty that would be imposed on companies who fail to meet the quota.

However, not all Qatari jobseekers want to work in the private sector.

An MDPS Quarterly Labor Force Survey from last year found that some 75 percent of 1,300 unemployed Qataris said they were not willing to work for a private company.

The number one reason given for their reluctance was unsociable working hours. This was followed by the length of the working day, lower wages than what are offered in the public sector and the frequent requirement to work a six-day week.

Qatari work values

Another reason for nationals choosing to work in the public sector could be that many private companies do not understand the values and needs that are most important to many Qataris.

Personnel Placements - UK

The results of a study released earlier this year by Oxford Strategic Consulting (OSC) concluded that there were a number of ways in which private companies could do more to attract nationals to work for them.

For instance, the report found that many Qataris are motivated not just by money but also by opportunities to serve their country and and to contribute to society – values most often associated with the public sector.

It also concluded that private companies do not advertise their vacancies in a medium that would be read by Qataris.

For example, 84 percent of employers advertise for jobs online, but only 4 percent of young Qataris said they would use the internet to find a job. Most rely on word-of-mouth and direct recommendations.