Doha has been named as the most expensive city for construction in the Middle East
Arcadis, the global design and consultancy firm has released a ranking of the most expensive cities for construction in the world. The Qatari capital ranked 12th in the world behind New York, London and Hong Kong, making it the most expensive city for construction costs in the Middle East.
Jeddah and Dubai came 16th and 18th respectively.
Ian Williamson, buildings global business leader at Arcadis in the Middle East, said: "Throughout 2015, the global construction market saw the overall level of cost inflation restricted due to the drops in commodity prices. Particularly when it comes to oil, growing uncertainty over prices will inevitably have a short to medium term impact on the GCC construction industry.
"The region's major commercial centres of Doha and Dubai remain - for the time being, at least - relatively stable locations for developers, benefiting from access to inexpensive labour and energy."
In the Gulf region, Doha's position as a major world city will progress quickly over the next decade while Dubai remains a major regional hub, he added.
There are plenty of plans for development in Doha with around $150 billion expected to be spent on the likes of roads, railways, stadiums, ports and social infrastructure.
Williamson added: "As we enter 2016, it is fair to say that we have another challenging year in prospect for the construction industry. With the steep fall in the price of oil, the timing of investment programs across the Middle East has become uncertain.
"Declining commodity prices, low labour rates and a highly competitive Middle East construction market have given rise to more potential opportunities across newly-affordable markets. It is a good time for government, funders and developers to capitalise on their investment ambitions."
High constructions costs in the Middle East show the increasing demand for these services as cities continue to grow.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.