Qatar’s privatisation initiatives and massive infrastructure development will further boost the country’s property sector, according to Engineer Nasser al-Ansari, the chairman of Just Real Estate.
Al-Ansari made the statement during the virtual forum "Bilateral & Synergistic Opportunities Between Qatar and the United Kingdom" organised by Doha Bank recently.
Speaking on the opportunities in real estate, al-Ansari stressed that Qatar “is not just building for just one event,” citing the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He also highlighted the pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030, in relation to property development and the sustainability of the country’s real estate sector.
“The quality of life in Qatar has improved and more people are expected to arrive in the coming years…the economic zones will also contribute to demand for Qatar’s property development. Qataris consider London as a second home and they invest in properties across the UK,” said al-Ansari, who highlighted major investment projects of Qatar in the UK and also gave insight on the benefits of owning property in Qatar.
During the forum, hosted by Doha Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman, al-Ansari was joined by British ambassador Jon Wilks, British Embassy Doha director of Trade and Investment Jinoos Shariati, and Arab British Chamber of Commerce UK CEO and secretary general Bendar Renda.
According to Wilks, Qataris look to the UK for their summer holidays, property investments, healthcare, and education. Qatar is estimated to have invested more than £35bn in the UK and is looking beyond London and the South East, he continued.
Wilks stressed in his speech that political dialogue between Qatar and the UK “was strong up to the highest levels” and that trade and investment discussions had not stopped as both countries “were committed to doing more.”
“Bilateral trade is £7bn a year and growing. The UK buys more LNG from Qatar and is exporting more to Qatar than ever before. Qatar is the third largest market for the UK in the region, and the GCC as a whole is the third largest trading market for the UK after the EU and the US.
“The UK is committed to an ambitious partnership with Qatar to deliver a safe and successful World Cup in 2022, leaving a positive legacy for Qatar and the region. People to people relations are strong, including over 20,000 UK nationals living in Qatar, the second largest British community in the region,” Wilks said.
Shariati, meanwhile, spoke on ‘New Trade Opportunities and FDI initiatives’ and provided updates on the current priorities of the Department of International Trade, which include sports, defence, security and cyber, healthcare, infrastructure, tech and smart cities, and food security.
Renda spoke on "The Role of the ABCC and Opportunities Post Pandemic and Brexit" and gave insight on the history of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, their strategic partners, services and opportunities in Qatar post-Brexit, such as 2022 FIFA World Cup, FDI, and industrial zones.
Seetharaman said Qatar’s major investments in the UK include Harrods, Sainsbury, and The Shard skyscraper. He noted that SMEs in the UK should explore partnerships with Qatar.
“Qatargas and Petronas UK signed a new 5-year LNG sale and purchase agreement in 2016. In 2017, the Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum was held in the UK, while in 2018, an MoU between the QCB and the UK was also signed. the QFC has more than 60 UK firms; opportunities could also be explored in the fintech sector,” he said.
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