MATTHEW KRETZMANN

Qatar 2021 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Matthew Kretzmann, Managing Director of Doka, on notable projects, adding value to Qatari construction, and Qatar Petroleum's LNG trains.

How long has Doka had a presence in Qatar and what are some of its notable projects?

Doka Qatar was formally established in 2004, albeit its first project was delivering a water tank project almost 35 years ago in 1985. Since then the company has grown from seven people in 2004 to over 100 today. As one of the world's most advanced formwork and scaffolding specialists, Doka Qatar has worked on several of the country's most prestigious projects, most notably Doha International Airport, Lusail City, Sidra Medical Centre and The Pearl.

What are the benefits and added value that Doka brings to companies in Qatar's construction sector?

When it comes to formwork and scaffolding, our greatest strength is engineering. Doka puts a lot of energy into its technical solutions and ensuring a high level of service. Historically we are a pan-European business, however, when we work in different regions around the world we adapt to the environment while retaining our core solutions. Having worked with Doka for over a decade, I believe we are a global leader when it comes to delivering complex projects. As part of our value-add we offer sophisticated, technical solutions with fast access to materials and back-up services. Our sales engineers, back office and site teams place an emphasis on providing the maximum amount of support to our clients; in short, with engineering solutions the biggest contribution really comes down to productivity on site. This is crucial to saving money and being aware of safety. I would say holistically, this is where we add the most value. Having large premises with quick access to materials means we can offer a highly flexible and efficient service.

What is your current assessment of Qatar's construction sector?

Coming from South Africa and having worked in the construction industry during the build up to its World Cup in 2010, I have seen how this trend typically works and my initial assessment is that Qatar is in a similar place. There is still a lot of preparation work to be done, but things are moving at the right pace. It will be more challenging than it was before, specifically for structural work, however, we are involved in a diverse range of sectors, including oil and gas and the industrial sector. With the slowdown in H1/2019, the construction sector has pressure to pick up the pace in order to meet its 2022 deadlines. I see positive trends in 2020-2021. If we look at the Qatar's National Vision 2030, the plan is to maintain the economy after the World Cup; the question is what that means for our industry? The likelihood is the high volumes of work that we've seen in advance of the World Cup won't continue, particularly when many of the projects currently being completed are for long term infrastructure, such as the Metro, Airport and roads. In the near term the airport extension will be a great project to work on so I would say I am cautiously optimistic and excited to see where the economy goes post-2022.

What opportunities does the expansion of QP's LNG trains offer Doka?

The industrial sector, including oil & gas is relatively new for us however; the Ras Laffan expansion is certainly relevant to our business model. One of our most recent and popular products has been DokaScaff UNI, a ringlock scaffolding system designed to save time and money, while providing considerable safety for site teams. We recently completed a roadshow that showcased our product to site teams across the country, allowing contractors and consultants to better understand the system's features. The feedback has been very positive, not only illustrating the demand for evolving scaffolding as a product, but furthermore diversifying our business model. Certainly Qatar's carbon energy is a robust sector and we look forward to working more closely with it.

What can Doka bring to the market in terms of innovation and increased efficiency?

Since our establishment over 150 years ago, Doka has always placed an emphasis on R&D. We try to find ways to improve the productivity of the greater construction industry through technology. We've recently launched the first e-commerce store for formwork in Qatar, which not only makes ordering easy, but allows us to pass on big savings in time and money to our clients. Another excellent example of innovation is our award-winning product, Concremote; a device that monitors the maturity of concrete using live data from sensors placed directly into the concrete. The sensors keep the site or project manager informed in real time via their smartphone or tablet devices and alerts them once the concrete has reached its perfect strength, thereby prompting deshuttering at the earliest opportunity. In terms of innovation, Doka also has a global sustainability strategy, something that is highly important to us.


About Doka

Doka, a subsidiary of the Umdasch Group is one of the world's largest manufacturers and suppliers of formwork products and systems with more than 160 sales and logistics facilities in over 70 countries. From its headquarters in Austria, Doka's heritage of innovation has positioned itself as a front-runner in creating disruptive technologies for the construction market, with an emphasis firmly placed on supporting the needs of its clients. Covering some of the fastest developing economies in the global construction market, Doka Middle East & Africa's office oversees operations from Cairo to Istanbul. Based from its regional headquarters in Dubai, which includes both offices and a distribution center, Doka Middle East & Africa's operation has been structured to provide maximum agility for its subsidiaries, allowing it to react quickly to market changes and to extend the highest levels of support for its clients. Doka Middle East & Africa's office covers the following subsidiaries: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt. This organization also supports projects across Northern Africa and Central Asia.