Project Management in Qatar

Charles Kadri
Qatar’s 2030 National Plan and the FIFA World Cup 2022 bring major changes to a small construction market. Good project management is the way forward.

Qatar’s National Vision 2030 outlines ambitious plans to transform its built environment in a market undeterred by global downturn. The government's economic diversification strategy over the last few years has been to promote sustainable tourism by improving transport infrastructure and creating new attractions. The successful bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup has intensified the pace of development.

The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup programme (Q2022) has an overall focus on sustainable legacy, with over US$140 billion to be invested in transport infrastructure over the next five years. The new airport, roads and metro system will support the influx of World Cup visitors and benefit the country for years to come.

Qatar’s National Vision 2030 outlines ambitious plans to transform its built environment in a market undeterred by global downturn.

The next five years are therefore crucial for the country’s ability to deliver its projects. Developers in the region and beyond are attracted by the scale of opportunity, but there are significant challenges ahead, all exacerbated by the speed of proposed development. This is a developing market in comparison to the UAE and construction practices are rooted in local business culture and traditions. To date, most developers are local and are only just beginning to engage with global best practice concepts. Construction costs are escalating, driven by higher prices of materials, a huge demand for skilled workers, and higher cost of living.

This is a developing market in comparison to the UAE and construction practices are rooted in local business culture and traditions.

Project management is the cornerstone for successful delivery of projects in all countries. Qatar's government has demonstrated its understanding by putting in place a national project management initiative called QNPM, based on global practice, and in line with Faithful+Gould’s project management best practice standards. QNPM includes planning, training and support. Although used successfully on large-scale public sector projects, smaller projects have yet to embrace the methodology.

On mega projects, early project management involvement is essential for best results, ideally pre-design and pre-appointment of the design and construction team. We help our clients explore their project's viability, define the investment needed and ascertain how best value can be achieved. Objectives and expectations can then be well understood and communicated through the stakeholder body and the supply chain going forward.

...early project management involvement is essential for best results, ideally pre-design and pre-appointment of the design and construction team.

Faithful+Gould’s experience in Qatar is that good project management helps alleviate many of the problems that the country’s construction faces. We use informed
procurement, risk management and scheduling strategies to deliver projects in a timely and cost-effective manner. Our role progresses to monitoring and managing the contract, programme and budget, ensuring high performance, minimising claims and delivering our client’s goals.

Materials import is via Doha’s under-capacity port (while waiting for completion of the new port) and delivery is via a heavily congested road system, so careful and realistic scheduling is vital. Our risk assessment helps clients to understand the issues around contractor quality and capability, ensuring the resource is available in a market constrained by shortages of qualified operatives and labour. We also find that experience is needed to navigate ministries, local authority and utility approvals as these can be very unclear.

Faithful+Gould has identified Qatar as a core growth area for our Middle East operation. We are committed to providing support for the nation and all our work is closely aligned with the 2030 vision.

We have a growing portfolio of projects in Qatar, including Shaza Kempinski hotel where we are providing project and cost management services, and Lusail Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, where we provided cost management services. We are developing a suite of standard forms of contract for a Qatari government procurement programme, and we are also working with our parent company Atkins to support Qatar’s Central Planning Office in their aim to implement best practice systems.

Faithful+Gould has identified Qatar as a core growth area for our Middle East operation. We are committed to providing support for the nation and all our work is closely aligned with the 2030 vision.