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Qatar attempting to go green

Recently, Qatar’s Minister of Finance, Yousef Kamal, publicly urged real estate and resort developers to create and develop projects that are more eco-friendly. He asked that suitable construction materials be used, specifically materials such as higher quality insulation and other measures used to reduce consumption of electricity and other sources of energy waste.

The Minister made these comments while attending the 3rd Qatar International Real Estate and Investment Exhibition (Q-REX) which took place at the Qatar International Exhibition Centre. Minister Kamal also stated that he expects Qatar’s real estate sector to grow and continue increasing in the coming years in order to meet the high demand and development of the economy.

The Minister's statements were made on the heels of the recently announced "The Qatar Today Green Awards." These awards were created with the intention of identifying and acknowledging businesses and developers who implement new ideas and put forth significant effort towards environmental programs. Senior business manager, Ravi Raman of the Oryx Advertising Company stated that the awards are segmented into specific categories such as Green School Award, Best eco-friendly Organization, and Best Public Awareness Campaign.

All of this effort put forth by the Qatar's Minister of Finance and these recent 'green' awards may simply be nothing more than marketing PR in an effort to redirect any criticisms regarding the issue of oil consumption. Although terms and industry jargon such as ‘eco-friendly’ and 'green’'are being used, it seems as though the efforts are also made to give a more presentable face to property investors and developers looking to the region. However, it does appear that little mention of environmentally friendly developments needs any pushing to drive the real estate market. The rate of development, although slowed by the common issues with higher construction costs and currency fluctuations, is not dramatically slowing down. Demand continues to increase while supply will not be able to meet demand for several years.