QICCA and RICS review construction disputes avoidance

Doha: The Qatar International Centre for Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA) at Qatar Chamber and the UK-based Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have joined together to host an industry workshop on November 22, 2018, in Doha, to highlight the ways of avoiding disputes in construction and infrastructure projects.

The seminar titled “Driving Change and Facilitating Collaborative Delivery in Qatar” was attended by a number of lawyers, arbitrators, businessmen and representatives of construction and real estate companies in Qatar.
QICCA’s board member for international relations HE Dr Sheikh Thani bin Al Thani attended the seminar.

It discussed the multiple benefits that Dispute Avoidance Services (DAS) will bring to the Qatar market, and how the process will be administered.

Abdulla Al Mehshadi, a certified arbitrator at QICCA, who inaugurated the seminar, said that in a country that is undergoing an unprecedented development like Qatar, going into conflicts is unavoidable.

These conflicts could have a heavy impact on the main three elements project managers try to have under good control theses being; time; cost and quality, he noted Addressing the seminar, Robert Jackson, the RICS Regional Director said that the world witnessed a significant development in arbitration of construction disputes, noting that avoiding the dispute before it happens is now a priority in view of the great boom in construction sector Qatar witnessing.

Jackson noted that there are 7 challenges facing construction sector including risk pricing, project delays, lack of confidence among investors, adversarial, fragmented climate, low productivity and efficiency, claims culture and breakdown in relationships.

He noted that Qatar’s construction and real estate industries, whilst not unique by any means, are known for being somewhat disconnected with an adversarial contracting climate. This often results in ‘risk-pricing’, significant legal issues, inefficiencies, project delays and cost over-runs, legal costs and liabilities. Income generating assets therefore do not deliver against project financial forecasts and the adversarial nature stifles innovation and value-added solutions from the supply chain and clients. As claims and confrontation develops on projects, all too often we see damaged commercial relationships and reputations.

RICS believes that the industry as a whole needs to move towards a more collaborative delivery model and believes that the usage of Dispute Avoidance Services (DAS) will help the market tackle the various issues outlined previously.

The DAS will be presented at the workshop. Such DAS where implemented elsewhere in the world have delivered massive benefits and had a significant positive impact on investor confidence in the sector.

An early intervention strategy to avoid and control disputes in construction and infrastructure projects before they escalate to arbitration or litigation, DAS encourages a culture of cooperation between parties.

Conflict Avoidance can be the catalyst for change, without initial sweeping changes to contracts, and can provide a new way forward for built environment disputes in Qatar. As an interactive event, industry experts will be encouraged to provide market feedback and thoughts on Conflict Avoidance, which is now becoming the accepted and preferred practice globally.

“With the number of mega projects currently ongoing in Qatar, alternative methods of Dispute Resolution and conflict avoidance are key to mitigating costly delays and escalating project costs. A rising number of contractual disputes in the region has increased the need for comprehensive methods of early conflict avoidance and alternative dispute resolution such as the Dispute Avoidance Services (DAS),” said Mairead Hughes, RICS Country Manager.

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