By Andy Sambidge
Central Planning Office will co-ordinate major expansion plans ahead of World Cup 2022
The Qatar government is about to set up a powerful Central Planning Office (CPO) to co-ordinate its multi-billion dollar infrastructure expansion plans.
The CPO, reporting to the Minister of Municipality and Urban Planning, will oversee all major project work in Qatar as investment in the country's infrastructure accelerates ahead of the FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar in 2022.
"The national government will be announcing the establishment of the CPO in the next few weeks," said Ambrose McGuire, advisor to the director of Infrastructure Affairs at the Public Works Authority (Ashghal).
"This will conduct high level reviews to allow people to properly discuss key challenges," he told the MEED Middle East Tunnelling 2011 Conference.
In October, a senior official said Qatar is set to spend up to $150bn on infrastructure projects over the next 5-6 years as it starts preparing for the 2022 World Cup.
Yousef Hussein Kamal, Minister of Economy and Finance, also said spending on the oil and gas sector would reach $40bn in the same period.
His comments came in a speech delivered before the Qatar-Spain Business Forum, state news agency QNA reported.
The Qatari government has reportedly allocated 40 percent of its budget between now and 2016 to infrastructure projects, including $11bn on a new international airport, $5.5bn on a deepwater seaport and $1bn for a transport corridor in the capital, Doha.
It will spend $20 billion on roads while stadium construction for the World Cup should cost just under $4bn, with the first venue to be built by 2015.