Why Qatar developers struggle despite construction boom

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Qatar’s real estate developers are struggling even as the country embarks on huge infrastructure building plans – a warning to investors that despite the billions which the Gulf state is throwing around, they won’t necessarily profit.

A $7.1bn state financial support package announced last month for Qatar’s largest listed developer, Barwa Real Estate, and the restructuring of other top developers such as United Development Co and state-owned Qatari Diar, highlight the industry’s weakness.

Barwa and Diar have cut staff and sold assets to manage their debt. Last October Barwa announced plans to sell more assets in Qatar and Egypt to pay down loans.

Qatar is competing with Dubai as a regional financial centre, and it does not lack money; its natural gas reserves make it one of the richest countries in the world per capita.

 

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