The Doha skyline has changed irrevocably over the past couple of decades and development continues apace.
As Qatar continues to develop – with a view to achieving its Qatar Vision 2030, investment has continued to pour into infrastructure projects, designed to provide economic and social development.
Among the local companies to benefit from all of this activity has been Khayyat Contracting and Trading (KCT).
Owned by Mr. Moataz Al Khayyat, KCT is one of the largest main contractors in the State of Qatar, providing a wide range of construction services to both the local and international markets. Having built a reputation for delivering projects on time and on budget, KCT’s recently delivered projects include the Orient Pearl restaurant and the Lekhwiya Stadium, while the company is currently working on the Mall of Qatar, which once completed will be one of the largest indoor shopping centers in the world.
KCT is a general construction company which has prominently emerged as a key construction contractor in Qatar with visionary leadership and highly experienced management. Its primary mission is to translate its vast professional expertise into construction landmarks within the potential of Qatari emerging markets by providing the highest level of integrity, innovative solutions, and continuous Client support.
KCT was founded in 1983 and has played a dominant role in construction and development programs. The company initiates fast-track design and project methods that provide shorter delivery timelines by overlapping functions of job design, procurement and construction processes which result in project handovers in shorter time, and at less costs than conventional construction programs.
“Although KCT’s vision is globally driven, our partnerships are local,” states the company website. “By uniting our professional specialists with internationally renowned consultants we continue to provide world class sustainable developments that meet the discerning demands of our Clients.
KCT’s construction and business development plans are strategically positioned to grow within our developing world and develop our business in unison with the growth of emerging markets. We place significant importance upon supporting these initiatives by striving for global standards of environmentally friendly best practices, smart eco-friendly development and construction methods, and by complying with the local QSAS and LEED.”
To that end, in 2014 the news came through that KCT had become the first company in the GCC to receive recognition of global standards from the British Standards Institution (BSI) Group Middle East.
The third party Stage-2 BSI certification audits four standards: Quality (ISO 9001); Environment (ISO 14001), Health & Safety (OHSAS 18001) and Integrated Management (PAS 99).
KCT was just the 49th company in the world to receive the PAS 99: 2012- Integrated Management System Certification.
KCT said the independent certification of its management systems would help the company to improve its business performance, effectively manage its business risks and align its operations with international standards.
The company’s owner Mr. Al Khayyat, is the owner of 17 companies, which include general contracting, commercial and residential developments, building materials, various trading companies, hospitals and restaurants with operations in Syria, Morocco and Qatar.
As such, Al Khayyat is well qualified to assess the progress made and the future for construction in Qatar. In January of 2015 he outlined that he expects total construction infrastructure investment to hit the $200 billion mark over the next decade:
“Moataz Al-Khayyat, CEO, Al Khayyat Contracting and Trading, a leading international design and build company with its main headquarters in Doha, says state spending alone has been estimated to reach $160 billion. He believes, however, that additional investments will pour in from the private sector to complement what the government is doing to boost infrastructure development in the country,” it was announced in a press release.
“Preparations for the World Cup, though a government driven activity, will also see external investments being made outside state funding to cash in on the windfall expected from staging the world’s biggest sporting event. The retail industry will open up, as will the F&B sector. Tourism and hospitality will see further activity, beyond what the government is planning,” said Al Khayyat.
The infrastructure spending is expected to boost Qatar’s non-oil economy, which EFG-Hermes predicts will expand by as much as 16 per cent year from next year until 2018.
The latest Arcadis Global Infrastructure Investment Spending Index already ranks Qatar as the second most attractive infrastructure investment destination in the world, behind only Singapore. “In the Gulf region, it leads all other nations and has maintained this ranking for the past two years – an affirmation of investor confidence in the country’s potential to attract investments over and above what the state will spend,” Al Khayyat added.
“The infrastructure that will be put in place over the next few years will accommodate the expected influx of tourists and new expatriate workers as Qatar’s economy continues to grow. The stadiums are already being earmarked for use by local clubs and tournaments as well as regional sporting events,” explained Moataz Al Khayyat.
The link between construction progress and the tourism sector is an important one for the State of Qatar. In December Al Khayyat’s UrbaCon Trading & Contracting called for more investments in the tourism sector as tourism generated significant revenue for the economy in the Gulf States during 2015.
He commented on how “the high occupancy rates in hotels and the big number of foreign visitors to GCC will lead public and private sectors to increase the investment in tourism especially by building up more hotels.”
“As a fresh example, Qatar received nearly 2.25mn visitors until September-end so the number of foreign visitors rose by 8 per cent in the first 9 months of 2015 compared to the same period last year”, added Al Khayyat announcing that UrbaCon Trading & Contracting would capitalize on this growth by building up more hotels in Qatar and the region.
Al Kayyat has also said that “the tourism sector’s positive results in GCC in 2015 are a good indicator and alarm that we should do much more to face the future challenges and protect the tourism sector as one main sources of the economic growth in GCC.”
KCT is certainly playing its part in developing the tourism industry and in February of last year completed the luxury 5-Star Hilton Hotel Doha.
The 24,000 square metre luxury five-star Hilton Double Tree Hotel is spread over 3 basements levels and stands 14 stories high, taking over 3 years to complete from planning to delivery.
Designed by Erga and DWP Interior design, the building comes complete with a 75 metre high rooftop Sky Bar, which also includes a pool deck and shisha area.
It was the highest priority for Moataz Al Khayyat’s firm to meet the latest standards stipulated by the Qatar Tourism Authority to which they stated a hotel of this calibre must have a children’s play area and a mosque, located on the 11th floor and a fully equipped Spa and gym, located on the 12th and 13th floors respectively. On the 14th floor is the Presidential Suite, offering 250 square meters of sumptuous surroundings and views over the Corniche.
Speaking on behalf of the company, managing director Moataz Al Khayyat commented, “The early phase of this project was particularly challenging as we had a limited footprint to work on in terms of both storage and laydown area, something that was exacerbated during the shift changes that included 1,100 people working in 2 shifts around the clock. This being said, the remainder of the work has gone very smoothly and we look forward to the Hilton being able to welcome their first guests in a few months from now.”
Local company KCT continues to excel as it helps Qatar to attain its long-term goals, creating a legacy for future generations.