Qatar group breaks ground on $1.6bn project
Doha, October 20, 2011
Qatar-based Bawabat Al-Shamal Real Estate Company on Thursday broke ground on the first phase of its strategic QR6 billion ($1.64 billion) retail and entertainment project, Doha Festival City.
A joint venture between Al-Futtaim Group, Qatar Islamic Bank and other investors, Doha Festival City is a mixed use development coming up on a sprawling 433,847 sq m area.
The project, to be developed by Bawabat Al-Shamal, is set to become a leisure and entertainment destination in Qatar and the region, said Greg Douglas, development director Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate while speaking at the ground breaking ceremony.
Doha Festival City is located just north of downtown Doha on Al Shamal Road, one of the main arterial routes to the city centre, connecting Doha with Bahrain via the 'Friendship causeway'.
'With its strategic positioning, the super-regional complex is ideally equipped to meet the retail and entertainment needs of not only Qatar, but also neighbouring GCC countries. The project boasts of 260,000 sq m of gross leasable area, remarked Douglas.
Commenting on the launch, Jihad Zarkout, senior executive manager of Bawabat Al-Shamal Real Estate Company said, “We are delighted that Doha Festival City has begun construction which celebrates the collaboration between our JV partners."
"Doha Festival City is an innovative concept that will greatly appeal to visitors and the local residents of Doha," he observed.
"With the project’s easily accessible location and the extensive offerings, we believe Doha Festival City will be one of the most advanced entertainment, retail and hospitality complexes in the region," he added.
Zarkout said in the first phase, IKEA, part of the Al-Futtaim Group, will be developed with the 32,000 sq m store due for completion in the fourth quarter of 2012. The remaining elements of Doha Festival City are due for delivery in fourth quarter of 2014.
The project is being designed by DP Architects with Arab Engineering Bureau as the project architects. Mace International is the project manager, while EC Harris is the quantity surveyor and cost consultant.
On the IKEA project, Zarkout said the general contractor package has been awarded to a JV between QACC (Qatari Arabian Construction Company) and Amana Qatar Contracting Company with the MEP package awarded to Hamad and Mohammed Al-Futtaim Engineering.
Ammico Contracting will incharge of the excavation and Redco International will be supplying the precast concrete elements.
The interior design of Doha Festival City is inspired by nature and the elements of wind, water, wood and earth, said Zarkout.
'Within the retail loops there will be four distinct interior zones – Water Concourse, Garden Promenade, Rainforest Boardwalk and Fashion Galleria,' he remarked.
Besides IKEA, several other leading international and local brands are expressing strong interest in this iconic development, said Zarkout.
The festival city will also offer an entertainment and leisure complex, automotive showrooms and international hotels, he added.-TradeArabia News Service