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Aedas limbers up for Qatar World Cup work

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Aedas chief executive David Roberts hopes the UK-based practice will expand its presence in Qatar – and is sizing up a bid for a World Cup stadium

The company is going through a registration process in the capital city Doha and aims to formally open an office if it is successful with ongoing tenders.

Qatar is gearing up to host the 2022 World Cup and has been highlighted as a boom market for UK architects.

Roberts told AJ: ‘We see future growth in Qatar and Saudi. We are looking for more work to come out of this region.

‘In the short to medium-term we will keep numbers stable in the Middle East. Any increase will be project-related and most likely in Qatar.

‘We are going through a registration process and have staff visiting regularly – recently we have always had one to three members of staff in the country.

‘As work dictates, we will have to have a presence. I hope that will happen sooner rather than later.’

He said the country was an attractive market for UK architects.

‘Qatar is spending billions of US dollars ahead of the World Cup and a potential future bid for the Olympics. As well as infrastructure, we see commercial, retail and residential as future workstreams, and possibly stadiums for the World Cup.’

Aedas opened its first Middle East office in Dubai seven years ago. It has worked on high profile projects including U-Bora Towers in Dubai and New Sports City Stadium in Qatar.

HOK London vice-president Barry Hughes recently hailed Qatar as the ‘Premiership’ of architecture.

And Peter Flint, global head for sports and leisure at Davis Langdon, said the London Olympics had put UK designers at the front of the queue for future events.

‘I was in Qatar recently and the world’s emerging countries are looking for British experience for the global events that will show they have emerged,’ he said.

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