A new study from PwC has revealed the key trends that are expected to drive the growth of Qatar’s real estate sector in 2022 and beyond. The report’s authors – Kamal Fayed, Martin Berlin, Mohammad Homoud, Lama Zammo and Hafsa Nadeem – review the top five drivers and their expected impacts.

Covid-19 pandemic

The Covid 19 pandemic has caused disruption in industries globally and regionally. Yet despite the headwinds caused by travel restrictions and embargoes imposed to control the outbreak, Qatar has shown remarkable resilience.

The post-corona landscape will require industries to calibrate and readjust their strategies more frequently than ever in order to keep up with changes in the current business landscape. The rise of e-commerce and remote working has changed what was once considered the “norm” in the real estate industry. The increased adoption of hybrid work styles is expected to reshape workspaces.

FIFA World Cup 2022

The positive outlook for the real estate sector is particularly supported by the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will take place from November 21 to December 18.

The World Cup, which is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of spectators from around the world, has been central to Qatar’s economic plans and served as a source of optimism during the recession. Amid a raging pandemic and political tensions, the event remained a source of hope for the public and economic policymakers alike.

Overall, with an expected influx of tourists into the country, hotel occupancy rates and revenue per available room (RevPAR) are expected to increase, boosting the hospitality industry.

The World Cup is not only an auspicious strategic instrument as a stand-alone occasion, but also an invaluable engine of growth for a thriving economy beyond 2022 and an integral part of Qatar’s National Vision 2030. The tournament will help Qatar achieve long-term urban goals. development and economic diversification objectives and enhance its attractiveness as an investment destination.

Tourism

Qatar and the nations of the world are increasingly focusing on tourism. After a sharp decline in revenue per available room in 2016, Qatar has focused on diversifying its economy through the development of local attractions such as the National Museum of Qatar. Additionally, visa-free entry has been granted to nationals of 88 countries, contributing to Qatar’s image as one of the most open countries in the world.

Three key indicators of the health of the tourism industry ‒ occupancy rates, average revenue per room and revenue per available room ‒ all improved between H1 2020 and H1 2021, gaining 7% respectively, 16 % and 24%.

With the World Cup coming up and links with neighboring countries restored, arrivals are expected to increase.

Durability

Qatar’s real estate sector is well on its way to reducing its carbon footprint and leading the way to a greener future. Three of the country’s recent major projects ‒ the Doha Metro, Msheireb Downtown and Lusail City ‒ have incorporated Qatar’s sustainability agenda at the heart of their development plans, as evidenced by their focus on renewable energy solutions such as on-site power generation, LED lighting systems and carbon dioxide monitors.

Qatar’s commitment to sustainability is also reflected in preparations for the World Cup. FIFA 2022 stadiums are on track to receive at least a 4-star Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) rating in categories including design, construction, energy and water consumption.

Further reading: Companies are raising homeowner expectations for sustainability.

Real estate technology

Property technology (PropTech) is an important tool that can complement Qatar’s vision of sustainability through property and accelerate industry growth. This is an area that deserves further investigation. The real estate industry has long resisted digital disruption, but such an approach is outdated at a time when agility has become a key competency for industries around the world.

PropTech’s potential penetration into the real estate market is exemplified by big data, which can provide information that informs policy-making and project planning, while improving the performance of internal building systems such as electrical infrastructure; artificial intelligence, which can more accurately predict price trends; and virtual reality, through which potential buyers could receive an immersive tour of a property before construction even begins.