In its third all-staff town hall meeting attended by management and employees, Qatar Rail highlighted the achievements of the last 12 months and looked forward to the milestones to be delivered in 2017.
This year witnessed a few significant milestones where Qatar Rail recently celebrated the completion of viaducts on the Doha Metro project; and a few months earlier the company celebrated the completion of all tunnelling works. Moreover, the 37 stations of the Doha Metro project are under construction with more than 41,000 workers on site. The metro project has so far worked a total of 202 million man hours and achieved one of the lowest Accident Frequency Rates (AFR) in construction in the world.
Next year’s more notable milestones for the Doha Metro project will be hitting the 70% mark on project progress rate, the arrival of the first four trains in Doha, dynamic testing of the first train in Japan, awarding the Rail and FM operator contracts, as well as advancement of operational readiness preparations and the development of revenue generating capabilities.
Business Transformation Programme
Inaugurating the town hall meeting by launching the Business Transformation Programme, Eng Abdulla Abdulaziz Al Subaie, Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Qatar Rail, said:
We are about to embark on the most critical phase of the Rail Development Programme; we will be soon transitioning from a rail developer to a rail operator. Furthermore, we are implementing every possible measure to accelerate our progress and accomplish Qatar Rail’s vision. Accordingly, we have launched a Business Transformation Program that rests on four pillars: delivery of the programme on time, budget and quality, financial and operational sustainability, organisational efficiency and building Qatari capabilities.’
‘The Business Transformation Programme aligns with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar for the Qatar’s second National Development Strategy 2017-2022 represented in ensuring timely completion of all infrastructure projects in the state of Qatar, striving for greater efficiency in government spending, diversifying the economy and ensuring sustainable development and national human capability building.’
During the open forum with staff, Eng Al Subaie outlined the detailed objectives of the Business Transformation Programme, the execution strategy and the various initiatives and targeted completion timelines necessary to achieve this transformation. The Managing Director stated that 2016 has been a successful year for Qatar Rail, whereby the company has overcome significant challenges and delivered major milestones. The MD also expressed his appreciation to Qatar Rail management and employees for their continuous hard work and dedication.
Qatar Rail’s strategies centre on headway progress toward the completion of the Doha Metro, the Lusail Light Rail (LRT) and the Long Distance Rail projects. Anchoring this progress, the Doha Metro works are advancing as scheduled for a first-phase operational launch by 2020 involving three lines – Red, Green and Gold.
Echoing Al Subaie, Dr Eng Saad Al Muhannadi, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Rail, praised the company’s on-site achievements and transparent processes delivering progress for its projects said:
Qatar Rail is moving at a very quick pace consistently adapting and allocating its talents, resources and partnerships within the timeline and budget provisions to achieve progress across all its landmark projects. At the centre of its progress during 2016, the Doha Metro project has achieved several milestones, starting with the completion of 100% of all tunnelling works, awarding all MEP subcontracts, with overall station completion progress reaching 46%. Moreover, foundations and base slabs work for all 37 stations was completed, and platform deck slabs have been completed on five elevated stations. Additionally, there has been seamless progress on the Major Stations contract, notwithstanding the termination of the old contractor.’
It was an occasion of great pride for Qatar Rail to have His Highness Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani visit Al Qassar Station project site where he viewed a mock-up of the station located on the Red Line of Doha Metro.
Goals set for 2017
Building on the milestones for 2016, Qatar Rail has set ambitious goals for 2017 that will focus on its continuous, timely and cost-effective project completion. The construction focus has now shifted to the more complex phase of installing tracks and the railway control systems, as well as the installation of mechanical and electrical plant and equipment, and carrying out architectural fit-outs. It is expected that the track installation works will be completed by the end of 2017.
On top of its priorities, Qatar Rail is also focusing on the development of a long-term business development strategy that involves property development, and retail and advertising to achieve operational and financial sustainability. In collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Communications, works on the implementation of transport demand management measures to support the integration of the different public transport systems and the safe and efficient interchange with other travel modes are also in progress.
Company’s Qatarisation Programme
The Managing Director also hosted a separate forum for Qatari employees to discuss the Qatarisation development strategy and the implementation plans. Addressing the Qatari employees, the MD said:
Building the capabilities of Qatari nationals is of utmost importance to Qatar Rail and I am personally committed to provide them with the best career development opportunities. We are therefore committed to provide Qatari nationals the best opportunities and a work environment that rewards and recognises everything they do. We also plan on holding regular strategic review and feedback sessions to assess and ensure their progress. Every Qatari employee is ultimately responsible for his/her personal development, 70% of this duty falls on their shoulders. Our goal is to develop highly qualified nationals who are ready to achieve their personal objectives and contribute towards delivering the strategic priorities of Qatar Rail.’
Qatarisation at Qatar Rail has currently reached more than 20% of the total headcount and the company is doing its utmost to maximise participation of Qatari talents as it heads towards the operational phase.
During the forum, the Managing Director also reminded the employees about the directives of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, to the citizens during the 45th ordinary session of the Advisory Council, where His Highness motivated Qatari nationals and reminded them that they are entitled to the education and training that qualifies them for work, while it is their personal responsibility to perform their work to the best of their ability with persistence and determination to serve the community and the state of Qatar.
During a question and answer session at the end of the forum, the Managing Director and CEO responded to the questions and concerns raised by the employees. The town hall meeting also served as an ideal platform for Qatar Rail to give back to its employees for their ongoing dedication. Recognised for their professional excellence, 25 employees have received the ‘Managing Director’s Award of Excellence’, a recognition programme set to encourage staff to show more commitment in delivering the railway mission, build a stronger relationship between management and staff, and cultivate a culture of appreciation within the organisation.