Ronald Barrot (left) and Craig Cowrie speaking at Cityscape Exhibition and Real Estate Summit at Qatar International Exhibition Centre. (Shaival Dalal)
BY MOHAMMAD SHOEB
DOHA: Qatari government needs to build quality and affordable schools for expatriates as private schools are expensive and do not have enough capacity to cater to the growing demand, experts at a ‘Qatar Real Estate Summit’ said yesterday.
Improving education and health care sectors to cater to a growing number of foreign workers is the need of the hour. Lack of enough affordable and quality schools may work as a deterrent for the calibred labour force choosing Qatar as a career destination, a senior official of the QInvest told The Peninsula on the sidelines of the summit.
“There are no public schools or government education facilities for the children of expatriates. The private schools do not have enough capacity and they are pretty expensive. This may deter the right calibred people coming to Qatar in future which may impact the process of development”, said Craig Cowie, Head of Real Estate Investment and Advisory at QInvest.
He said that Qatar will have to improve its education sector. For that it needs to build larger, better and more sustainable schools to cater to the educational needs of the expatriates.
Cowie was speaking at a Keynote Panel discussion on ‘World Cup 2022 Legacy Planning: Managing expectations and conquering fears’ at the ‘Qatar Real Estate Summit’ which is running parallel to the ongoing ‘Cityscape Qatar 2012, at the Doha Exhibition Centre.
Asked about the health care sector, he said, “It would be difficult for me to comment on that as I don’t know it very well. In my view there are enough public and private healthcare facilities available as the country has invested heavily in the sector.
However, many others present at the ‘Summit’ suggested a review to improve the existing healthcare facilities of the country.
Abdulla Al Bader, Director of Qatar Tourism Authority, in his opening remarks on the second day of the ‘Summit’ said: “Our strategy is to establish Qatar as a destination beyond the mainstream. In 2011 we recorded our highest number of visitors by some world-class events, such as the Asian Football Cup, the World Petroleum Congress and others, said.
Also present at the ‘Summit’ were Don Bradley, CEO of Frank Knight Middle East and Ronald Barrott, CEO Pro-Invest UAE.