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Thu 25 Dec 2008 09:09 AM

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Qatar builders 'forced to rethink recruitment'

Construction firm chief admits shelving plans to bring in extra 500 workers from overseas.

A number of construction companies in Qatar have put their recruitment plans on hold amid the global financial turmoil, it was claimed on Thursday.

Many new projects have been deferred due to the meltdown, leading industrialist Abdul Hadi Al Shahwani, said in comments published by Qatar daily The Peninsula.

As supplies have begun exceeding demand, the prices, particularly of building materials, are coming down with contractors having to re-work quotations even for some ongoing projects.

The prices of land and housing stock have also come down by no less than 30 percent since the slowdown began, claimed Al Shahwani.

And the head of construction giant SATCO, Mohamed Sabih Bukhari, admitted that his company had put on hold plans to bring over an additional 500-strong workforce from overseas to manage various new projects that it was supposed to get.

“Now that the projects are either shelved or suspended, there is, obviously, no point in hiring the workers,” he told the paper.

But Bukhari said that despite the difficulties being faced by the building industry, no company has so far retrenched staff. “We haven’t heard of any lay-offs.”

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