Qatar's infrastructure challenges sparks debate

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By Oliver Ephgrave  www.constructionweekonline.com

The challenges of Qatar’s whopping $100bn infrastructure programme was the subject of debate at Construction Week’s Building Towards 2022 conference in Doha on Tuesday.

The conference, held at the Grand Hyatt Doha, featured a heated panel session on transport infrastructure, moderated by Sachin Kerur, managing partner, Pinsent Masons.

Kerur asked the panelists: “What arrangements are being put in place to keep the country moving while this massive construction program is going ahead?”

Tim Clarke, project director (QIRP), Obermeyer, Deutsche Bahn International, replied: “All the people that know the answer to that question are sitting in this room.

“There needs to be coordination with the road, metro and airport so that all of that doesn’t suck the labour into one sector. It could be quite dodgy if we’re not careful. The Central Planning Office is one of the models that we need to encourage more in Qatar so we can coordinate the projects.”

Kerur asked whether there will be a strong enough supply chain to deliver the programme. Ziad El-Balbisi, director, highways and bridges, Hyder Consulting, replied: “Yes, I think most of us do have concerns, but the signs are positive. If you look around the room you can see companies from all around the world. More info