A powerful economy, a strong tourist industry and a flourishing real estate sector define Qatar, home to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. All this while the country faces lack of sustainable use of non-renewable resources; a very rapid pace of development and institutional infancy.
However, events such as Project Qatar 2011, which saw the presence of 15 national pavilions and 36 other standalone countries at the Doha Exhibition Center from 2-5 May 2011, prove that the country has a vision in which others are willing to share. The event attracted 1000 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors.
Qatar’s National Vision 2030 dictates the commitment of the private and public sectors towards what is soon expected to become the biggest construction site in dollars per square meter, with almost $100 billion in planned investments over the next 12 years. The Qatari government will be investing $17 billion in hotel and tourism infrastructure; $11 billion in airport; $5.5bn for deep water seaport; $4 billion in the construction and renovation of 12 stadiums, $3 billion to build Qatar-Bahrain causeway and $1bn on crossing from airport to Doha.
The country is also set to invest heavily in its hotel and tourism infrastructure to cope with an influx of World Cup fans. Hotel rooms in the country are expected to nearly double by 2022 to reach 95,000 available rooms.
Hence, the success of Project Qatar, which was aimed at satisfying the country’s ambitious construction development plans and disseminate information on materials, services and innovative technologies in the construction field.
The highlights of the exhibition were Heavy Max, the International Exhibition for Heavy Machinery, Equipment, Vehicles and Construction Plants, the Sustainability Conference that discussed environmental solutions and green initiatives and a separate Green Pavilion.
Cleaning business increasing in focus The cleaning business sees a surge in growth whenever construction activities abound. Clean Middle East spoke to Nirmal Kumar, manager of the Cleaning Equipments Division of Arabi Company Qatar WLL, who said that the cleaning business has become one of the most focused businesses in Qatar this year, as there are many new buildings in the final stage waiting to this year itself.
Arabi Company Qatar WLL is an established supplier of cleaning equipment from Nilfisk Alto, Nilfisk CFM, Schwamborn, Densin, and Osprey Deep Clean machines. “As the construction industry is waiting for new projects to be announced, the cleaning industry is busy handling projects nearing completion. These projects are being carried over from the year 2009 due to the recession in between. We will be focusing on the market with Nilfisk products as many hotels are getting ready to open in the course of the year,” said Kumar.
Qatar saw the development of some iconic landmarks over the past few years like the Pearl Qatar, developed in 2009, Katara (Cultural Village) in 2010 and the State Mosque in 2010, wherein the Arabi Company Qatar had a major role to play. The equipment was either sold directly to these projects or through cleaning contactors.
Arabi Company Qatar was able to supply the complete range of Nilfisk machines to the Katara Cultural Village through cleaning contractor Qatar International. Most important of the machines sold to Katara were 3 new Nilfisk BR752 ride-on scrubber driers which arrived in a week, stated Kumar. Arabi Company Qatar was also successful with an entry into Qatar Petroleum through Amwaj Catering, a facility management division of Qatar Petroleum. The company commissioned 2 Nilfisk SR1900 ride-on industrial sweepers to the Pearl Qatar project and has been recently awarded a tender for the supply of Nilfisk equipment to the Qatar National Convention Center.
Clean Middle East also met Mazen Abou Chakra, area sales manager at Kärcher Middle East, who presented Kärcher at the show together with Qatar Trading Company, an authorised dealer for Kärcher products in Qatar. Mazen Abou Chakra said that the development in Qatar needs to be monitored closely. While major projects are in the planning stage, others are still in the very initial “brainstorming” phase. “Different cleaning solutions are required at diverse development stages of projects”, stated Abou Chakra. “The Kärcher portfolio of cleaning systems is already essential at the planning phase to support the construction process and further for the handover. A different Kärcher cleaning solution set is necessary for the value maintenance of the completed projects.” He highlighted the increased presence of international exhibitors at the show and interpreted this development as a fore-runner to the expected build-up of Qatar. He analysed that the show turned into a ‘trading hub’ for the construction industry rather than a ‘marketing exhibition.’
“The international companies are coming to Qatar now to meet the demand in the region; sourcing their requirements from the local market; all under the umbrella of Project Qatar.” While Kärcher presented its product range for the construction industry together with Qatar Trading Company, Kärcher’s new product, the upright, hotwater high-pressure washer generated a great deal of interest due to its compact and mobile design. The success story of the recently launched stand-on scrubber driers continues at the show with further confirmed deals.