New master developments across the country’s landscape are on the horizon after the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is not only a major sports event but also an opportunity to showcase the investment opportunities Qatar has to offer, an official of Cityscape has said.
“The vision of the country doesn't change and doesn't falter – the government has Qatar National Vision 2030 … after the World Cup, the country can get back to its focus on driving inbound investment,” Cityscape vice-president Chris Speller told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the event’s 10th edition. “They will start to announce all those new projects coming into the market.”
Cityscape Qatar was officially opened on Monday by HE the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Sultan bin Rashid al-Khater.
The event, which concludes today (June 22) at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC), gathered more than 60 exhibitors from Qatar as well as from Cyprus, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, the UAE, and the UK to highlight the latest real estate project launches in the region ahead of the World Cup.
“In 2023, the country will be focusing on its original vision 5-year plan, so it has many different plans for new master developments, how it’s going to be attracting different industries, and how it’s going to focus that economic diversification,” Speller said. “And the only way of delivering diversification is by actually bringing new industries and industry sectors into the market, be that from a technology or a financial side, but the country will get back to focusing on its long term vision and delivering the mission that would drive the country’s growth and economic diversification.”
Amid the various challenges of the pandemic, he said the Cityscape exhibition has witnessed growth, which, he described as "an opportunity based on the participation of local and international participants and a balance between the two.”
According to Speller, HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani requested Cityscape “to move from a local to a more international event.” He said this year’s edition had 70% international exhibitors and 30% from the local market.
“There’s a mixture of reasons for that.
A lot of the master developers who you’d normally see at Cityscape are not here this year because their focus is on delivering the projects around the World Cup.
“Also, we’ve only had around six to seven months to deliver this year’s event, so there’s a short turnaround.
This year’s event feels quite different than previous years and I think in 2023 after the World Cup, our direction will go back to seeing both the international and local market, as well,” Speller explained.
He said, “Last year, we obviously didn't see many of the international participants because there was still difficulty getting into the country…we hope what's going to be a true reflection is 2019 on 2023 where we believe we’re seeing significant growth into this exhibition.
“While many of those master developers were unable to rejoin this year, we’ve already had conversations with them today and there is certainly a real ambition from all of them to be returning in 2023 along with the other international participants, so that gives the show the opportunity for growth,” Speller pointed out.
Speller also anticipates that the new development opportunities to be announced next year would be focusing on smart cities, technology, innovation, and lowering carbon footprint, as well as how to support homeowners and the commercial, tourism, and hospitality sectors.