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Wed 9 Mar 2011 07:05 PM

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Qatar should act now to avoid World Cup contract disputes

Construction dispute expert says sensible dispute resolution provisions should be added to all deals

Qatar should act now to avoid World Cup contract disputes
A model of the Al-Gharrafa stadium, one of the stadia to be used in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. (AFP/Getty Images)

Qatar should act now to avoid a glut of construction contract disputes surrounding deals done for the World Cup 2022, an expert said on Wednesday.

Wayne Clark, director (Dispute Management) at Hill International Qatar, said steps should be taken now to include sensible dispute resolution provisions in all contracts.

“All future construction projects in Qatar, particularly the large array of mega projects envisaged for the 2022 World Cup should have these,” Clark said in comments published by Gulf Times.

The adoption of these measures would greatly reduce the instances of parties fighting each other in arbitration or in the courts, he told the paper.

“I was recently involved in a major multi-party project in Qatar that ended badly. The contracts did not contain dispute resolution provisions like mediation or dispute boards. As a result we had a miscellany of termination, bankruptcy, arbitration and litigation,” Clark was quoted as saying.

Lusail Real Estate Development Co, the state-owned Qatari company building a new city in time for the 2022 soccer World Cup, plans to award about $3bn worth of contracts for roads and infrastructure over the next year.

“Our strategy is to go for an open bid,” chief executive officer Essa Mohammed Ali Kaldari said in an interview last week. “We would like to give an opportunity to many companies.”

Lusail City, which will have 200,000 residents and capacity to accommodate twice that many people, is scheduled to be completed by 2019, Kaldari said.

The city will include manmade islands, an entertainment district, an office park for energy companies, a golf course and five stadiums.

Construction disputes leading to liquidation or termination, and even contractual delays are not uncommon in Qatar, Clark added.

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