How is Manateq preparing for the reactivation of the economy after the crisis we are starting to overcome? How did Manateq support the logistics zones investors during this time?
Apart from introducing strict health and safety protocols throughout Manateq assets to safeguard our staff, visitors, and clients, we focused on easing the financial burden of our investors during the height of the pandemic and nationwide shutdown, with the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, as the effects of the pandemic were taking hold globally, we issued a six-month rent exemption for all our investors in the logistics parks and industrial zone. We later extended this by a further three months. However, our incentivization program began before the COVID outbreak. For instance, in 2018 leased plot investors who issued building permits benefited from the rent exemption and backed this up with a 2019 rent exemption for those investors who issued building completion certificates, in the logistics parks. We also exempted rent for production companies in the Mesaieed Industrial Zone for 2019 to encourage and increase their economic development contribution. More recently, we have signed with Waseef Asset Management Company, a leader in the management and marketing of real estate projects, to provide facilities and rental management of all the commercial and residential assets in seven service hubs across all our logistics parks. Waseef will now manage the rental affairs of all our investors' commercial and accommodation assets in the service hubs in our Jery Al Summar, Birkat Al Awamer, Aba Saleel and Al Wakra logistics parks, which are gateways to fast-track economic diversity and business growth throughout Qatar and beyond. We have designed these service hubs as thriving, showpiece communities with cafés and restaurants, supermarkets, money exchange services with ATMs, pharmacies, and medical centers and a host of service operators including utilities providers, laundries, barbershops, and tailors with ample parking throughout. We are raising the bar, not just regionally but internationally as well on infrastructure provision within logistics parks.
How will Manateq incentivize the establishment and expansion of SME investor base, especially considering the difficulties they may be suffering under the current scenario?
SMEs significantly contribute to areas such as innovation, efficiency, job creation and international competitiveness, all of which are key to Qatar's economic diversification. Qatar has worked harder to provide the appropriate environment for the growth of SMEs by enacting laws and administrative procedures necessary to encourage this sector, facilitating the necessary procedures for their establishment, and launching national initiatives and programs that support the owners of these enterprises. There have been initiatives to enhance the competitiveness of SME products and services at the local level and support for their export capabilities at the regional and global levels, thus reflecting the directives of the wise leadership in Qatar. This is also in line with the most important economic pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030. In response to the market needs, we have offered attractive practical solutions for SMEs by offering open yards in Al Khor and Al Karaana industrial zones at an affordable rental price as low as QAR10 per square meters annually with short-term lease contracts. This has resulted in successfully leasing more than 3 million sqm of open yard space.
What is Manateq's role in assisting the private sector gain access to the local market?
Manateq has been assisting the private sector by offering around 3.4 million sqm of leasable area spread over our private projects—Al Wukair logistics parks and four warehousing parks Bu Sulba, Bu Fessila, Um Shaharaine 1, and Um Shaharaine 2. This has been backed up by our rental exemption initiatives, mobility infrastructure, and financial support partnerships to make setting up businesses as swift and easy as possible. Manateq is committed to developing a world-class business environment, premium infrastructure, and the provision of high-quality services, including investor partnerships and aftercare, to fully support investment climate reforms in a post-COVID-19 world.