Despite the global credit crunch, all major construction projects in Qatar are still in operation; More than 82 percent of all projects are late but the delays do not affect budgetary spending, according to a regional study released yesterday.

The study titled Insight Qatar and focusing on the construction sector in the country was conducted by Proleads Global, a leading UAE-based market research company.

The study found that the construction industry in Qatar as at the end of March consisted of 191 major projects with a total value of $82.5bn.

In Qatar, most sectors experienced growth in cash flow over the greater part of 2008 but the leisure and entertainment sector saw a decline during the last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, say Proleads.

The data indicates only one major project in the real estate sector was cancelled in Qatar during 2008.

“While the Qatar economy is not immune to the global economic slowdown, it is expected to continue a reasonable rate of growth this year driven by the benefits from a long-term strategy to export liquefied natural gas from its vast gas field,” said Emil Rademeyer, director of Proleads Global, authors of Insight Qatar.

A previous Proleads Insight investigation, published in February 2009, found that more than half of all civil construction projects across the same sectors in the UAE had been placed on hold.

“Expenditure in the construction industry of Qatar grew steadily in 2008 and the first quarter of 2009,” added Rademeyer. “However, in the light of the current global credit crunch, a number of questions beg to be asked. For example, will the growth trend persevere despite global market uncertainties? If so, what are the projections for growth? Will things get worse and, if they do, how quickly will it change?”

The Insight report on Qatar addresses these questions by presenting in detail the current size of the industry; exploring how the industry has changed of late; and projects the future state of the industry using statistics based on quantitative and qualitative data collected and processed by Proleads.

On future projections, Rademeyer said: “Our investigation shows the Qatar industry is showing good growth as a whole. Only the leisure and entertainment sector has seen a slight decline beginning December 2008, which may continue until December 2009.”

He added: “No country in the world has proved itself immune to the credit crunch but it certainly does appear at this stage that, as far as civil construction is concerned, Qatar is probably one of the least affected.”

© The Peninsula 2009

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