Posted on May 08, 2015

Under the patronage and presence of His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail) held a gathering with the local private sector under the theme “Industry Awareness Day - Opportunities Available to the Private Sector”. The event was inaugurated by His Excellency Mr. Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transportation, in the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Khalifa, CEO of Qatar Development Bank, and Qatar Rail CEO Saad Ahmed Al Muhannadi.

The event, which took place for an entire day, gathered around 600 local and international companies. Its first session presented the rail projects’ business opportunities available to the private sector, and the second session launched the prequalification process for the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram operations as well as the management of their related facilities. The event’s purpose is to encourage the participation of the private sector in the rail projects and facilitate initial communication with Qatar Rail’s contractors, in addition to attracting international experts in the field.

During his opening speech for the first session, His Excellency Mr. Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti said: “In line with the State’s efforts to encourage the participation and investment of the private sector in the mega projects and initiatives, the Ministry of Transportation aims to push the Qatari private sector to take part in all transportation projects and provide their expertise and technologies”.

He added: “Qatar Rail created an ideal model for providing information on all the opportunities associated with the Metro project, and held more than one meeting with local companies to demonstrate the size of the project opportunities available to them. The company aimed to shed light on the supplies and logistics needed for the first phase of the Doha Metro project, as well as the needs of the Qatar Rail projects, so that the local companies can determine where and how they can contribute to their implementation”.

“That being said, Qatar Rail, in collaboration with the Qatar Development Bank and in cooperation with a global consultancy firm, identified investment opportunities in details, indicating more than 104 opportunities that are available to the private sector, thus adding value to the local economy,” he continued.

Participation of the Private Sector in the Rail Projects

With regards to the level participation of the private sector in rail projects, HE the Minister of Transport said that the participation of the private sector in rail projects has reached very high levels despite the fact that this is a new sector to the region, which requires the latest technologies and specialised skills that might be difficult to be fully supplied locally. The share of contracts awarded to the private sector within the scope of the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram projects reached 70%, versus the 30% awarded to international companies. These include the works for the designing routes, tunnelling for the stations, supplying building materials, and much more. In addition, the private sector’s share of participation in the joint ventures of designing and building the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram projects is 15%. Similarly, 61% of the contracts are awarded to local manufacturers of raw materials and transportation equipment to provide what’s needed to complete these developments in terms of cement, sand, iron and much more.

Besides, other initiatives that support the private sector, which are estimated at 222 million QAR, include insurance and technological innovation contracts - 80% of which are awarded to the private sector.

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Numerous Meetings with the Private Sector

In the same context, Eng. Saad Ahmed Al Muhannadi, CEO of Qatar Rail, said: “Qatar Rail held numerous meetings with the private sector to translate the National Vision 2030, to achieve effective partnership between the public and private sectors. It comes as part of the company’s policy to host introductory workshops for national and foreign investors before launching bidding process for a project. This strategy has proven to be successful in involving several Qatari companies in all joint ventures assigned for the civil works.”

“Through today’s meeting, we were able to shed light on the rail projects’ business opportunities available to the private sector, as well as launch the prequalification process for the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram operations and the management of their related facilities, giving Qatari companies the opportunity to plan their participation in our vital, strategic infrastructure projects,” he added.

With regards to combining local and international expertise on the same project, Al Muhannadi said: “Since the beginning, Qatar Rail has sought to encourage local companies to take part in joint ventures with international companies. The local businesses can provide their expertise on existing systems in the Qatari market, while international companies share their knowledge on the establishment of a world-class rail network. Such partnerships add value to both the company itself and the project it is implementing.”

The Two Sessions’ Activities

The first session featured a presentation to raise awareness on Qatar Rail’s efforts in encouraging the private sector’s participation in its projects, as well as a detailed presentation on the business opportunities associated with its projects. These were followed by a networking session between the attendees and Qatar Rail’s contractors.

The second session presented the prequalification process for the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram operations as well as the management of their related facilities. During this time, all the required contract-related information was provided, allowing the interested companies to assess the projects’ needs and identify how they can contribute to realising these developments. Around 55 companies working on the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram projects participated in both sessions.

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