On May 6th 2015, HCO Team had the fortunate opportunity to attend the prestigious HVACTech Conference which appropriately took place in the Qatar National Convention Centre, in Doha, Qatar. Essentially a specialized conference designed to address the latest opportunities and challenges in the HVAC and cooling industries in Qatar it showcased the latest technology advancements, along with the very latest project case studies demonstrating how these advancements can best be applied to answer the specific requirements and challenges of the construction environment in Qatar.
Before We divulge and go into detail summarizing the outcomes of the HVACTech conference let’s take a brief glance at some of the latest macroeconomic information summarizing the air conditioning industry and market in Qatar itself.
As the large majority of us expats are very much aware, Qatar is clearly experiencing a period of extremely rapid growth as infrastructure is developed to meet the demands of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and the sustainable goals mandated by the Qatar National Vision 2030.
Some facts for you: Currently air conditioning accounts for 70% of the total electricity consumption in Qatar, thus making sustainable cooling solutions a top priority for the nation. Research with industry professionals revealed that the HVAC industry in Qatar has untapped potential and can contribute significantly to achieving the nation’s sustainable goals.
According to (Deloitte), US$140 billion will be invested over the next five years in transport infrastructure including, Hamad International Airport and the Doha Metro.
According to (Deloitte) once again, over the next ten years, more than US$200 billion, will be spent on construction projects including hospitals, schools, industrial districts, residential complexes, sports complexes and 12 stadiums which will provide substantial opportunities for the HVAC industry.
Numerous mega-projects are already well underway including the US$494 million Lusail City Development Project, which will include long-stretch tunnels requiring extensive ventilation, the US$2.6 billion Qatar Energy City (Ministry of Business and Trade) and the US$40 billion metro and railway projects in Qatar, which require ventilation and complete integration of monitoring and control systems.
Anyway enough of the economics, in relation to the conference, what did I take from it and what can we learn from it going forward?
The seminar consisted of various eloquent speakers discussing a vast array of topics together encompassing the primary focal point of the future of HVAC in the region. It brought together some of the leading Contractors, MEP Managers, Sustainability Managers, Architects and Building Specialists from across the Qatar's construction industry, addressing the key issues affecting the country's Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Ventilation market and tackling the below areas:
• Energy Optimisation and Energy Conservation
• Issues relating to the HVAC and Civil Defense approval
• Moving from Building Management Systems (BMS) to Building Automation and Energy Management systems (BAEMS)
• The future of district cooling in Qatar (incl. challenges, opportunities and the new requirements for TSE usage)
• Alternative Technologies in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
• Facilities Management: Duct Maintenance
• Challenges with authority approval of Smoke Ventilation Systems
We are very proud that Al Hamdan Consulting Office (HCO)’s own Senior Mechanical Design Engineer, Mr. Syed Mustafa Ali delivered a perspicuous and insightful speech, evaluating and discussing “the movement towards the sustainable chilled water plants in Qatar.
In conclusion the event offered a highly targeted networking platform to enable the development of existing relationships and the establishment of new lucrative business partnerships within the rapidly evolving Qatari market. Finally for me as perhaps an uninformed outsider I learned a considerable amount about the ever changing HVAC market in Qatar and the need for most companies and building owners to stay on top of the HVAC market trends in order to guarantee an efficient, energy saving, and environmentally friendly country in the years ahead.
With an estimated $200 billion spend in construction planned over the next two years and much more in the pipeline, Saudi Arabia is likely to remain the dominant construction market in the GCC for the foreseeable future. According to the MENA Projects Tracker published by Citi there are currently over $2 trillion worth of projects in GCC countries, with 60% of those taking place in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In terms of country spend, Saudi Arabia leads the way with $784 billion worth of projects, followed by the UAE with $669 million.
Saudi Arabia’s commitment to investing in and building a sustainable nation will ultimately prove to be of great benefit to the economy.
With $3 trillion worth of development projects due to start in the Kingdom by 2020,we have to ask ourselves what does this mean and how does this impact the economic future?
Saudi Arabia is undergoing one of the biggest construction booms in the world. With a number of multimillion dollar projects currently under construction and more in the pipeline, the Kingdom is set to continue to invest in major projects. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently projected the country’s economy to grow 4.5 percent this year and next.
Construction is a key economic driver in Saudi Arabia as a whole, providing a platform for almost every industry and strongly contributing towards the employment of Saudi nationals while providing growth potential to local businesses. The construction sector showed the highest non-oil GDP growth rate (6.7%) in 2014, and the 2015 budget demonstrates the continuation of the previous year’s diversification plan, which provides major construction spending in key government segments.
Saudi Arabia’s population is approximately 70% Saudi and 30% expatriate, with a total population of 28.8 million. The combined population of the rest of the GCC countries is 19.85 million. This positions Saudi Arabia as the single most important market in the region. Not to mention that Saudi remains one of the largest oil exporters in the world, ranking second in 2014, and is thus economically very stable. With the significant boost in development projects in Saudi Arabia over the last decade, the country’s growth has been steady in comparison to other GCC nations.
The GCC region has seen some of the world’s large construction projects, such as the GCC railway project, the FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium in Qatar, Makkah Grand Mosque expansion project in Saudi Arabia and the Palm Islands projects in Dubai. Despite the recent economic crisis that the world went through, the construction sector in the GCC remains promising.
Since 2006, over $500 billion worth of civil construction projects have been awarded in the six GCC nations. Additionally, the total of planned construction projects exceeds $1.09 trillion, which is approximately two-thirds of the GCC’s entire annual GDP.
In relation to the global construction sector, it continues to recover from the ramifications of several years of economic and financial crisis. The recent global drop in oil prices will have a positive impact on the industry as a whole. This is largely due to the lower manufacturing and logistic costs for most building materials, especially petroleum-based building materials, meaning that the cost of materials asphalt, roofing materials, insulation, plastic materials, steel and PVC piping will also drop. In addition to that, the Construction sector has seen very strong growth in the adoption of technology, such as smartphones and tablet devices, whether in design or in construction.
In conclusion, based on the above information and latest statistics we can expect the industry will continue to grow, especially in the Middle East over the next coming years and Saudi Arabia certainly seems like a safe bet to be working right now.
The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs plans to expropriate 749 properties around the country at a cost of SR 466.4 million, for flood projects, road works and regulating neighborhoods.
Abdul Lateef Al-Sheikh, municipal and rural affairs minister, has approved the expropriations, according to a report in a local publication recently.
In Makkah, the ministry will take over 10 properties at a cost of SR 36 million for flood projects between Ree Thakher and Al-Jazzaer roads. In Madinah, there will be over SR 2 million paid out for 41 properties, including along Nofa bin Abdullah and Saad bin Abdullah roads to regulate various neighborhoods.
In Riyadh, there will be four properties expropriated to expand Al-Suwaidi Road, and nine to regulate the governorates of Al-Kharj, Thadeq and Huraimilaa. There will also be 38 properties taken over along Omar bin Al-Khattab Road and four properties in Al-Zalafi. The government will pay out over SR 50.4 million to the owners.
In Asir, the government approved the expropriation of 84 properties costing over SR 221 million. In Al-Qassim, it will pay out over SR 12 million to take over 35 properties in Al-Bade governorate, 258 for the regulatory scheme in the central area in Unaiza, 25 for King Abdullah Road in Buraida, 33 for King Saud Road in Al-Muthanab, and 40 to expand Prince Faisal bin Bandar road.
In Al-Jouf, the ministry will take over 15 properties for SR 36.7 million for a scheme in Al-Zhour; and in Jazan 53 to expand King Fahd Road in Fifa governorate, and other projects. In the Northern Border Province, the government will take over seven, and in Hail four properties. In Najran, nine properties will be taken over for over SR 71 million.
In Tabuk, the ministry plans to expand the corniche by taking over six properties. Taif has already expropriated three properties for the Was Al-Naml, Odah and Salamah schemes, and approved compensation for five others at a total cost of SR 13.7 million.
In Dammam, one property will be taken over for SR 2.9 million to build a car park. In Al-Ahsa, the government has already started expropriating 10 properties for SR 10.8 million.
Shar Al-Shahri, director general of the expropriation department, said owners must present their title deeds and other documents to get paid out. Special committees are determining the compensation, he said.
The Arabian MEP Exhibition and Conference, 2015 is an initiative designed to create a unique platform to form a convergence of major M-E-P players under one roof to evaluate the scope of electro-mechanical technology & services in Middle East and work towards meeting the accelerated demand in the building as well as industrial segments.
The construction industry in Middle East has seen a major change in the recent years with players adapting to modern methods and fast track construction techniques to cope up with the huge demand that the real estate and infrastructure sector has created. The building services industry too is looking to catch up with the ongoing trend and bringing in the technological advancements in their production & services processes. Nonetheless, due to its prerequisites, the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing are the most in-demand services within the construction sector.
With rising energy costs and increasing environmental regulations, the focus on building infrastructure has amplified. Designs are becoming more complex and the value of experienced engineering can provide significant returns in energy savings. Sensing this importance of bringing together the various stakeholders of the MEP industry at a common platform to converge and address the current prevalent issues, We at Al Hamdan Consulting Office had the opportunity to attend the ARABIAN MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Conference and Exhibition) in Bahrain.
The conference itself covered all the core objectives and created an ideal environment to showcase, deliberate & disseminate the knowledge of MEP products, services & technology that will provide a one-stop solution for the end users & to devise a pragmatic plan to bring in the technological advancements to deliver world class services in a highly challenging environment.
The Arabian MEP conference provided the perfect platform to meet specialists in the trade so that we as a company are up to date on the current goings on and developments of innovations within the market place.