The Business Year

Fahad Rashid Al-Kaabi

QATAR - Economy

SEZ for efficiency

CEO, Manateq


Fahad Rashid Al-Kaabi joined Manateq from his role as the CEO of QPM, bringing with him over 17 years of wide-ranging work experience in the areas of engineering, project management, and top-level administration. Prior to being appointed CEO of QPM, he was part in formulating public policy as Manager of the Conservation and Energy Efficiency Department of Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA). He received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and another bachelor’s degree in business management, both from the University of Miami. He then received his master’s degree in project management from the University of Houston in 2007.

What is the status of your two upcoming projects, Ras Bufontas and Um Alhoul, and what sectors do you target to develop within these SEZs? Having broken ground in 2015, […]

What is the status of your two upcoming projects, Ras Bufontas and Um Alhoul, and what sectors do you target to develop within these SEZs?

Having broken ground in 2015, we are currently working on the infrastructure and the first development phase of both zones to be completed by 2Q2018. Ras Bufontas is situated adjacent to Hamad International Airport, which is an ideal location for businesses requiring international connectivity. On the other side, Um Alhoul is adjacent to Hamad Port, which provides the perfect platform for companies specializing in the likes of petrochemicals, building materials, metals, food processing marine industry, and auto machinery, to reach the rest of the world by sea, with a central industrialized canal making for easy access to the waterfront.

Manateq offers 100% ownership in Ras Bufontas. How do you assess the impact of this decision on the attraction of FDI into the logistics sector, and what are your plans to expand the hospitality offer within the zone?

With the 100% ownership we are able to offer, along with the additional benefit of a dedicated personal point of contact to facilitate the registration and licensing, it makes investing much easier and more attractive. The strategic location of Ras Bufontas and the facilities’ fully integrated services enable logistics companies to come in and set up their base adjacent to the airport, which reduces their transport times and costs. With public spaces and land for worker accommodation, complemented by hotels, hotel apartments, versatile office, showrooms, retail space, and residential units, which are all located by the waterfront, the zone represents a chance for investors to create a fully functional headquarters with first-class global connectivity.

What is your strategy to turn Mesaieed Industrial Zone into the “Made in Qatar“ hub and promote the local manufacturing industry?

There are more than 200 existing projects within Mesaieed Industrial Zone, which significantly contributes to the growth of the manufacturing industry in Qatar. Enveloping all of these projects in Mesaieed, including heavy and light industries, concrete, and storage facilities for raw materials, demonstrates the crucial role Mesaieed plays in not only promoting local industry but leveraging that position to greatly impact the continued diversification of Qatar’s economy and evolution of the country into a regional hub for industrial activity and fully integrated services, keeping in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.

How do you assess Qatar’s position as a regional logistics hub?

Our four logistics parks aim to create a modern environment suitable for supply and storage services, and to provide investment opportunities that will add real value to the local economy. Manateq’s logistic parks are all in prime locations, with access to integrated water, electricity, and road networks, providing attractive long-term rent and lease arrangements. Manateq also sponsors four warehousing parks to complement its logistics activities, which were awarded to developers such as Barwa, which will oversee the management and operations under a BOT process for 25 years. Investors are able to see the existing infrastructure, and with the enhanced world-class transport links through increased capacity at Hamad International Airport and Hamad Port, Qatar’s reputation as key player in logistics is growing rapidly.

What are your expectations for 2017?

Manateq’s mission is to create a world-class business environment that enables domestic and foreign investors to deliver value-added products and services to local, regional, and international markets, and to also help drive diversification in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030. We will continue to build on our expertise and market knowledge. This will help us strengthen our position as the market leader providing fully integrated investment solutions as we strive to highlight why investing in Qatar will help businesses grow and demonstrate the key contribution we are making toward the diversification of the economy. Manateq will facilitate additional commercial investment opportunities in Ras Bufontas Special Economic Zone for investors to develop retail outlets, residences, showrooms, and office space.



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