'New Budget Will Boost Real Estate Market'

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) lalin fernandopulle | The Peninsula

Doha: Clearly global events have helped to drive up the cost of LNG, Qatar's economic mainstay, which in turn has helped to push GDP growth to an estimated 4.7 percent last year, boosted by the 20.8 percent increase in oil and gas revenue in 2022, Partner-Head of Research at Knight Frank Middle East Faisal Durrani told The Peninsula yesterday.

He said in turn, the government expects a surplus of QR 29bn this year as World Cup related expenditure fades. Interestingly, nearly a fifth of the 2023 budget has been allocated towards the healthcare and education sectors, which are known to be key drivers of real estate market growth.

Qatar's real estate market which is poised for a steady growth this year and the years ahead is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate by 11.5 percent by 2027 according to estimates.

Qatar's quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) at constant prices increased by 4.3% y-o-y in the third quarter of 2022.According to Planning and Statistics Authority data, the quarterly GDP at constant prices was estimated at QR 175.028bn in Q3 of 2022, compared to the estimate of Q3 of 2021 which was QR 167.782bn, representing an increase of 4.3 percent. When compared to Q2 of 2022 revised estimate, the quarterly GDP recorded an increase of 3.6 percent at QR 168.879bn.

The allocation of funds from the 2023 budget to major and vital sectors of Qatar's economy is a very good move to support the economy, Durrani said.

The 2023 budget presented by the Finance Minister H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari aims at achieving an estimated revenue for the current fiscal year of QR228bn which is a 16.3 percent increase compared to the last year's budget estimates with an expenditure of QR199bn and a budget surplus of QR29bn.

The budget for the current fiscal year has allocated funds of around QR9.8bn on 22 new projects while also curtailing allocations for major projects which is expected to decline by 13.6 percent compared to 2022 estimates at QR63.9bn with the completion of several infrastructure and strategic projects the latest of which is the expansion of Hamad International Airport prior to the start of the FIFA World Cup 2022.

A noteworthy feature of the budget 2023 is measures to streamline expenditure on key sectors.

Allocation for health and education sectors which has been increased for the current year in line with the state's continued focus on the two sectors.

The State of Qatar's general budget for the fiscal year 2023 showed QR199bn expenditure estimates and a QR 29bn surplus being directed to pay public debt, support the reserves of the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) and increase the capital of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), a move that reflected the country's keenness to stimulate and diversify its economy.

Qatar's budget surplus, the highest in the last decade, was ascribed to a 20.8 percent increase in oil revenues with average oil prices having risen to USD 65 a barrel, prompting an 16.3 percent increase in total revenues, compared to the 2022 budget, as well as a 2.6 percent expenditure decrease with a stop in the country's expenses for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.


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