Over the past few years, Qatar has witnessed rapid population growth together with strong economic growth. These developments have required further enhancements to the land transport infrastructure to support the expansion in the industrial, commercial and service sectors.
Land transport has become a key enabler of the Qatari economy and a cornerstoneof its growth, and the Land Transport Sector continues its efforts to develop a state-of-the-art transport network in line with the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
To this end, the State of Qatar is investing massively in land transport infrastructure projects which will see the highways network expanded to 8,500km by 2020, including the building of some 200 new bridges and 30 new tunnels.
The Public Works Authority 'Ashghal' was established in 2004 to be responsible for the planning, design, procurement, construction, delivery, and asset management of all infrastructure projects and public buildings in Qatar.
Ashghal contributes to achieving the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030 by leading the transformation of Qatar’s infrastructure and public buildings so as to develop the nation into one of the most advanced countries in the world in this field.
The authority is managing and coordinating projects worth more than 100 billion Qatari Riyals. Adopting best practices in infrastructure development and management, Ashghal has employed a powerful model of strategic outsourcing and partnership with world leading project management organisations to ensure Qatar’s infrastructure is on par with the most developed nations worldwide.
Ashghal is currently working on a wide range of infrastructure programmes across the country, including: the Expressway Programme which will deliver some of the largest expressways in Qatar, and the Local Roads & Drainage Programme which will deliver many roads and integrated infrastructure projects in local areas. Ashghal is also cooperating with working relevant Qatari authorities on significant building projects that include healthcare, educational, and general sector projects.
Within Ashghal, the Asset Affairs directorate manages the operations and maintenance of all roads and drainage systems, which includes over 1.2 million unique assets.
The start of partial operations at Hamad Port, which is one of the largest multi-purpose ports in the region, was a major milestone for this mega project that will modernise the way Qatar handles ocean imports and exports and help facilitate the growth and diversification of the country's economy.
As part of the partial operations, Hamad Port opened its general cargo and "roll-on roll-off" facilities and cleared its operations for the delivery of general goods, vehicle imports and construction equipment.
The start of Hamad Port’s partial operations also increased the container capacity at Doha Port.
Hamad Port is an important addition to Qatar Ports and will handle 6mn containers a year once fully operational. It has a general cargo terminal that can handle 1.7mn tonnes of general goods, 1mn tonnes of foodgrains and 500,000 vehicles. It will also have a livestock terminal, a multi-use terminal, an offshore supply base, a coast guard facility, and a port marine unit.
Along with regional transport development plans, Hamad Port will provide transshipment links by rail, sea or road to GCC and other Arabian Gulf states making use of its advanced safety, security system, and dedicated customs inspection area with latest technologies to speed the clearance of goods.
With the establishment of an economic zone adjacent to it, Hamad Port will facilitate manufacturing industries and help the nation to increase its non-oil and gas exports.
Along with the new expressway interchanges, the port will facilitate cost-effective cargo handling and will position Qatar as the new regional shipping hub.
In addition to Hamad Port, the start of the first phase of the port of Ruwais began in January 2015.
Qatar is a growing country, and to accommodate this growth, a new, sustainable, and efficient way of getting both people and freight around the country was needed. Established by Emiri decree in 2011, Qatar Rail was given the mandate to design and develop the country’s rail network, and after the rail projects are completed, manage, operate, and maintain them.
Qatar Rail’s answer to Qatar’s transportation challenges lies in three major projects:
• The Doha Metro: a mostly underground rail network which connects communities within Doha and its suburbs
• The Lusail Tram (LT): a tram network providing comfortable and convenient travel within the new city of Lusail
• The Long Distance Rail: connecting cities in the north and west with Doha, and the country with the forthcoming GCC rail system
Once all the projects are completed by 2030, the three networks will act as one integrated system, allowing passengers to easily transfer between them.