Jul. 11, 2021


Saad Al Muhannadi

Qatar

Saad Al Muhannadi

President, Public Works Authority (Ashghal)

BIO

Saad Al Muhannadi's career stretches for more than 19 years, during which he held several leadership and administrative positions including head of the control center, planning manager of the electricity network, and technical affairs manager in Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa). He served as CEO of Qatar Rail before becoming the President of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal). Al Muhannadi graduated from Qatar University with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He also received a master's degree from Qatar University in 2009 and a doctorate degree from France in 2016.


Ashghal has been one of the key axes of the great economic and infrastructure development Qatar and Doha have experienced in recent times. Can you brief us on its main contributions to Qatar's well-being?

Over the last 15 years, Ashghal has continued to create advanced and sustainable infrastructure that meets the current needs and future aspirations of the State of Qatar. As one of the key enablers of the Qatar National Vision 2030, all of Ashghal's programs and projects are being implemented to ensure the country's roads and drainage infrastructure is upgraded to create a long-term sustainable network that continues to support economic growth. Ashghal's undertakings cover a vast range of programs being implemented across the country, which are delivering some of the largest expressways and integrated infrastructure projects, providing new free-flowing roads linking ports and logistical locations, thus boosting trade and commerce, and supporting the socio-economic growth of Qatar. In 2019 alone, we opened key highways that span vital arteries connecting areas with a total length reaching more than 120km. Ashghal's Local Areas Infrastructure Program continues to maintain the road and drainage network across Qatar through the development of infrastructure to serve the residential areas and citizens' subdivisions. This is in addition to enhancing the operations and maintenance of Qatar's road and drainage networks and delivering the essential public buildings projects that include health and educational buildings. Despite the global challenges, Ashghal has continued to embark on a phase marked by acceleration in the pace of project implementation and delivery, which has resulted in a robust operating and performance outcome.

How will Qatar guarantee the timely delivery of the projects in spite of the disruptions caused by the pandemic, and what will be the future of the infrastructure sector once this huge wave of developments is over?

Infrastructure development did not stop during the pandemic. With strict health and safety compliance, Ashghal's projects continued to progress as per project timelines, some of them ahead of schedule. In our efforts to pave the road to FIFA World Cup 2022, Ashghal has already completed 95% of the roads leading to the stadiums. We are geared up to continue working at the same pace and with the same commitment to implement all infrastructure projects despite the current worldwide economic crisis. To stop the spread of COVID-19, Ashghal along with its contractors and consultants has developed and implemented emergency plans that include preventive measures to protect workers, employees, and residents of the areas to reduce and control infection. Ashghal is gradually transitioning from an authority entrusted with awarding and executing efficient sustainable infrastructure projects to an entity that focuses on the operation and maintenance of the state's road and drainage networks and delivering quality services and solutions in managing projects and assets. Our plan post 2030 aims to provide integrated infrastructure and drainage networks for all areas in Qatar.

How will the PPP Law change the role of the public sector and Ashghal in the infrastructure development of Qatar?

PPPs will play a vital role in further developing the private sector and will be an important mechanism for future projects. In continuation of the country's efforts to increase the participation of the local and international private sector, Ashghal is extending the PPP model across other projects. We have listed projects for which feasibility studies have been done in coordination with relevant government entities, within the framework of requirements of the law regulating partnerships between public and private sector. Ashghal has already bid for tenders on some projects in the fields of buildings and wastewater treatment, and there are other projects in the pipeline for partnerships between the two sectors currently undergoing a feasibility study, and we are hopeful of successful bidding of these projects for the benefit of public and private sectors. We are also working in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education and Higher Education toward implementing the Qatar Public Private Partnership Schools Development program, which will follow best-in-class PPP practice.

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