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Qatar tribune

Satyendra Pathak


Most of the exhibitors are already booking bigger spaces for the 20th edition of Project Qatar which will be held in May next year, IFP Qatar General Manager Haidar Mshaimesh has said.

In an exclusive interview with Qatar Tribune, Mshaimesh said, “Most of the exhibitors are already booking bigger spaces for next year. And I think some of the things we did this year proved to be very, very effective. We introduced Qatar Factory Zone which was liked a lot by people. The exhibitors are very happy about the idea of having their production capabilities highlighted.”

“At this year’s Project Qatar, we had a delegation from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry visiting the exhibition. They came specifically to meet those factories, sit with the exhibitors, get their feedback, learn about their needs, what they need to improve their production, and improve their import-export transactions. So, I think for them, this was a great opportunity and they were very excited about it. So, from now we’re planning for next year. I’m telling you, most of them want bigger spaces,” he said.

“It’s going to be a special edition. So, I’ll give you a few of the things we’re planning for next year. Obviously next year, the exhibition will definitely be bigger than this year. Both local and international exhibitors are looking to increase their spaces,” he said.

He said, “As I mentioned, we will have one dedicated hall next year for the Qatar industries. We’ll have more exhibitors on the technology side. We will have a special ceremony next give to recognize, honour, and award companies with the longest track of participating companies that are participating in Project Qatar for 15 years or 10 years. There will be a special ceremony for them to recognise them at gala dinner. So we’re planning a lot of activities to celebrate the 20th edition.”

Talking about the increasing relevance of Project Qatar, he said, “Most of the exhibitors say that Project Qatar is really relevant not only because of the construction sector, which is the second most contributing sector to the local economy after the oil and gas but now the exhibition also provides access and opportunities in parallel sectors like industrial sector and technology sector. While the industry and the technology sector support the construction section, they have opportunities of their own.”

For example, he said, “The Qatar Free Zone Authority is quite excited and thrilled to be in Project Qatar and the number of connections that they generated from Project Qatar allows them to attract international producers to set up production units in Qatar. So, in this sense, the exhibition now is actually contributing to the economy directly. We’re attracting direct investment, we’re generating jobs, job opportunities for people. We’re generating new partnerships and new projects. So, the exhibition is becoming some sort of economic catalyst for the construction and technology sector.”

About the success of this year’s exhibition, he said, “The feedback, I have received from exhibitors and visitors is very encouraging. They found this year’s edition to be very special and beneficial. The number of opportunities they found, and the new technologies were really heartwarming. I think the exhibition answered the very important question of what will happen after the World Cup. I think the business interactions during the exhibition answered this question that the market is still healthy, still provides the opportunity and people are interested still in doing business.”

He said that during this year’s exhibition, as many as 450 meetings were scheduled.

“Those were the meetings that were scheduled ahead of time. Obviously, there were other meetings that weren’t scheduled that were happening on the spot. We had a lot of agreements, mostly with the international delegations. Some of the Turkish companies signed a few MoUs with a few Qatari factories to provide machinery for them to enhance their production capability, and to enhance production lines. So again, I think the outcome was very positive for everyone. We’ve heard from a lot of exhibitors saying that their products were sold out in the middle of the exhibition,” he said.

About the footfalls during the exhibition, he said, “We received 300,000 more visitors than we expected initially. We expected 15,000 visitors, but we received above 18,000 visitors. The feedback was so positive and people were sharing their experiences. This is something we haven’t witnessed before. The amount of traffic related to Project Qatar on social media generated in the first couple of days was huge.”

About the general outlook for the construction sector in the country, he said, “Now, you know that a lot of mega projects have been completed. Now you will require asset management, facility management, and utility management for all these mega projects. So now the type of opportunities that will be present in the market will be different.”

The Ministry of Transportation is going to launch a mega transportation plan for Qatar. The Qatari market still provides opportunities, but we’ll have different kinds of options. But still, that being said, traditional construction will still be needed.”

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