A massive logistics hub will be created in the south of Qatar, between Hamad Port, the Mesaieed industrial area and the truck orbital route to help bolster the country’s private sector, the prime minister has announced.
Qatar’s biggest industrial and logistics center will be developed across a 6.33 million square meter site covering 1,583 plots of land between Al Wakra, Birkat Al Awamir and Aba Sali, according to a statement in Arabic on QNA.
Services will include warehouse facilities such as specialist units for cold, frozen and dry storage; assembly units; commercial offices and showrooms; light industrial areas and logistics support; parking; maintenance workshops and service centers.
There will be zones for labor accommodation and community amenities, including a post office, police station, civil defense station, petrol station, a mosque, supermarket and pharmacies.
The scheme aims to support the ambition of diversifying Qatar’s economy from reliance on hydrocarbons, open up the commercial market and provide a support network to the private sector.
The timetable for the entire development remains unclear, but at least construction on at least one portion of it is expected to take 2.5 years. The first lot of plots expected to be handed over to investors by the end of 2016, according to details on one image.
Applications for investors for the entire scheme open on Aug. 2 until Nov. 9, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce said.
Unveiling the plan yesterday, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar’s PM and interior minister, said the hub would help make Qatar a competitive regional hub for investment and logistics.
Qatar’s Emir has previously called for a way to resolve the nation’s storage issues and to come up with a plan to promote the economic and trade sectors.
Getting enough raw materials into the country and having sufficient storage facilities in order to build projects on time has often been cited as one of the biggest challenges to Qatar’s construction and infrastructure development.
Plans for the new development also include earmarking facilities for small and medium-sized businesses.
The Minister for Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Al Thani said that 951 plots of 1,000 to 2,000 square meters would be allocated for small investors, while plot sizes of up to 67,556 sq meters would be available for medium and large investors.
Rent would be fixed at QR40 per sq meter each year, with a long-term lease contract of 30 years. Rent would have to be paid every six months, at a “competitive price” to stimulate the growth of the private sector increase trade and curb inflation, QNA reports.
Masterplan images revealed for “parcel A” site at Al Wakrah show an area of 3.4 million square meters, worth QR1.2 billion. Artist’s renderings show landscaped areas with recreation facilities for workers, in addition to showrooms, warehouses and industrial areas.
The announcement follows the confirmation earlier this week that a joint venture between Qatar-based UrbaCon Trading & Contracting (UCC) and Spanish firm Sacyr has would lead a QR1.69 billion contract to develop a special economic zone near Hamad International Airport.
The zone will be built in Ras Bufontas as a warehousing and logistics hub next to HIA, just east of Al Wakrah Road. It will be 4.01 square km in size and the smallest of three planned special economic zones. SEZs aim to attract more investment, as well as creating jobs and boosting trade.