QR20bn Doha project finalising contractor

The Musheireb project will try to recreate Doha's architectural scene and revive its old commercial centre, says the developer. (SUPPLIED)

The QR20 billion (Dh20.18bn) Musheireb project in Doha is in the process of finalising its main contractor for infrastructural works on phase 1 by March, according to its master developer Dohaland.

It is also planning to get a Gold LEED rating across the entire development and not just on individual buildings, said its CEO in an exclusive telephone interview with Emirates Business. The project will be completed in five phases, with the first phase due for completion by 2012. The entire project is due to be complete by 2016.

"We have finalised the master plan for the project and the four architects have now completed the design of Phase 1 A and moved on to Phase 1 B, which is the second phase of the project. Infrastructure works have started on Phase 1 A. The enabling works contract has been awarded to Bauer and we are in the final stages of tendering for the main contract," said Issa Moh'd Al Mohannadi, the CEO for Dohaland, a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation. He did not disclose any values for the contracts. The entire project is being financed by the Qatar Foundation.

The Musheireb project, formerly known as 'Heart of Doha' aims to connect the city's past with its future and give it a community feel. The Emir of Qatar inaugurated the groundbreaking ceremony for the project on January 13 this year and renamed the project in Musheireb. The event also witnessed Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, Chairperson of Dohaland, reviving an age-old Qatari tradition by leaving her royal handprint on the cornerstone of the project.

"The whole area around this project was historically called Mushreib, meaning a source of water. It was also the site of a famous historic battle and hence Sheikh Hamad decided to give that name to the project," said Al Mohannadi.

The site comprises approximately 35 hectares within Mohamed Bin Jassim District and is immediately adjacent to the Emiri Diwan, Qatar's seat of government and the Ruler's palace. It makes provision for additional palace offices and guards facilities and is also adjacent to the newly redeveloped Souk Waqif, a mixed-use scheme based on a traditional souk, and Al Koot Fort.

The total project GFA will be 760,000 sqm. The development will contain 226 buildings and will be home to 27,637 residents. It will have around 13,700 parking lots as well as a dedicated tramway, with a combination of commercial and residential properties, retail, cultural and entertainment areas. There will be parks and open spaces with a total area of 122,217 sqm. The project will also feature the National Archive, theatre and museum and hotels.

The charm of the project lies in the fact that it will try to recreate the city's architectural scene and will strive to revive the old commercial centre of the city, by deploying a community-based architectural language, added Al Mohannadi.

"Names were not the criteria to select the architects and we searched worldwide to find firms that could combine the traditional with the modern; firms that would also have research capabilities on this region. From 60 firms, we got the list down to 11 and invited them to compete and develop a project, whose language was rooted in the past. The strict jury process, which included architects from the Aga Khan Committee finally selected four architects – Allies and Morrison Architects, Mossesian and Partners, Adjaye Associates and John McAslan and Partners.

"We intend to go back to the roots of the architectural language of Qatar and the region. Our ancestors used materials from the region and the designs were based on the climate of the region when we were green by default," said Al Mohannadi.

"We have thus approached the entire development as a green project where we have the plan to achieve a Gold rating for the entire development and not just a building," he said.

 

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