Qatar warns it will take action against real estate landlords and developers who increase prices in run up to 2022 World Cup

Real estate owners warned in Qatar

Landlords, real estate companies and developers are set to benefit from the announcement that Qatar is to host the 2022 FIFA football World Cup tournament.

A number of developers are already working in the Gulf state and others in the region are hoping to get some of the action from the region’s first ever global football competition.

However, Qatari authorities are warning that legal action could be taken against landlords who inflate their prices. It is even considering introducing a new law to curb excessive real estate rents.

In order to cope with the expected deluge of football fans and officials, Qatar is planning to have in place an extra 240 properties, according to the official bid documents submitted to FIFA.

There are currently around 100 existing hotels, villages and compounds spread across the seven host cities. An additional 140 properties will be sourced or constructed to meet accommodation needs, including a cruise ship project in Al Wakrah with 6,000 rooms, the report added.

The report stated that two thirds of the new supply of inventory, which will amount to around an extra 55,000 rooms, will be covered by 17 construction projects, 13 of which will be completed by 2016.

As part of its bid, Qatar said it planned to double the number of hotel rooms to nearly 90,000 in time for the tournament, which will result in an investment of around $17 billion over the next five years.

It is good news for companies. ‘We would expect to be in a position to win a share of such a market as we have the correct experience both in stadiums, hotels, residential and retail projects and the like we are optimistic about our chances,’ said Arabtec Construction chief executive officer Thomas Barry.

‘We expect that there will be requirements for hotels, residential, leisure and retail developments, all of which we have extensive experience in constructing,’ he added.

Dubai based contractor Drake and Scull International (DSI), which has had an office in Qatar since 2004 and now employs 450 people in the Gulf state, also said it hoped that the Qatari share of its business would grow in the next decade.

‘There is tremendous upside on Qatar, there has been a lot of promise, but we haven’t been able to pick up as much as we wanted to,’ said Zeina Tabari, DSI’s chief corporate affairs officer.

‘There will also be increased expenditure in the building sectors for projects such as hotels which prior to the World Cup win were not previously forecast as being greatly required,’ said Tony Saadie, executive general manager for Al Habtoor Leighton Group Qatar.

Irish mechanical and electrical engineering company Mercury Engineering has already benefited from its work in Qatar. It came up with the zero-emission cooling system that reduced temperatures at the Doha 2022 Showcase Stadium, which played a key role in helping convince FIFA executives that the summer heat could be overcome.

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