Qatar border closures have had 'no impact' on business, Drake & Scull chief says

The severing of air, land and sea links between Qatar and three Arabian Gulf countries have had “no impact” on Drake & Scull International’s operations in the country so far, its chief executive, Wael Allan said on Sunday.

“We have projects there that are finishing. We don’t have anything in the pipeline that we are bidding for at this stage. So we are continuing to finish those projects as we moved forwards,” he said.

The company has about Dh500 million worth of projects under way in Qatar, Bloomberg quoted Majd Dola, senior research analyst at Al Ramz Capital, as saying. The company has an overall backlog of Dh8 billion. The biggest portion of its work in Qatar is Dh342.9m contract for electrical works on depots being built for the Doha Metro, where it is working for Japan’s Fujita Corporation under a contract awarded in March 2016..

Acting chief financial officer Firas Kalthoum added that the company has an entity that is based in Qatar to carry out its work.

“We have not been informed to do or not to do anything in relation to Qatar,” he said. “We will be following any guidance that we receive, but we have not received any yet. It’s too premature at the moment.”

In Saudi Arabia, Mr Allan confirmed the company would “categorically” not bid for any new general contracting work for its subsidiary GTCC. He said that its MEP arm has focused on completing existing work in the Kingdom and had not bid for any new work within the past year, but remains a part of a consortium that is considered a front-runner to build the new metro line in Mecca.

He added that the firm would review its position on working in the Kingdom once the capital restructuring was complete and a new board of directors appointed.

mfahy@thenational.ae

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