As Dubai developers are packing their bags with job redundancies and canceled contracts becoming the order of the day, its tiny neighbor, Qatar is firing up its construction sector. New construction projects such as the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway will help create 2,000 new jobs giving many previous Dubai employees a fresh start.
Costing Dh11 billion (US$3bn) to build, the bridge will become the longest in the world with an impressive 40km.
Thanks to Qatar’s huge oil reserves, the emirate is booming and industry watchers expect a 9% growth this year placing Qatar as one of the fastest growing economies worldwide. With all that excess money floating around, Qatar is also investing in many other infrastructure projects at the same time, including a new port at Mesaieed to be built over six years at a cost of up to Dh16bn. This will keep construction companies buoyant for years to come, helping to boost the property market in order to accommodate the growing population.
Another bonus is the fact that local banks are specific on how they handle financing, which will help to preserve their ability to keep on going.
Many current ex-Dubai construction employees are stuck in the city due to jobless and and the lack of funds They survive their days in the ‘creek’ (Dubai’s old town) and barely manage to place food on the table. To make matters worse, some can’t even leave the emirate as their previous employers are holding their passports.
Meanwhile Reuters reported that mergers are pressuring the tiny emirate to combine their powers with Dubai to withstand the global crisis. It is true that Qatari real estate fell quite extensively last year and will most likely continue to do so this year, but if the demand for natural gas keeps up, then the Qataris are in a good position financially to outlast the crunch.
Only time will tell whether they will and can or if they will face similar downturns as Dubai in their construction industry over time.