The drop in construction costs prompted by the economic crisis is serving as an impetus for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to press ahead with infrastructure schemes.

According to a report published in the latest issue of the Middle East Business Intelligence magazine, there are road projects worth as much as $38.6bn planned or underway in the GCC.

Qatar accounts for some 15% of the total road projects in the GCC, worth a combined $6bn. A major project in the pipeline is the Doha Expressway, an ambitious road development linking the north and south of the country through the capital. It is estimated that the 13-phase project will cost more than QR8bn to execute.

The scheme is part of Qatar’s plans to invest $20bn on new roads and related drainage and infrastructure in the next five years. The investment is being carried out to address congestion in Doha. The plans are also in line with the Qatar National Masterplan that projects the country’s population to reach 2.5mn in the coming years, from the current level of 1.3mn.

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