Dubai-based Damac Properties has awarded three main construction contracts in Qatar worth more than Dh602m, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The contracts have been awarded to Draieh Contracting for the construction of three mixed-use residential and commercial projects within Qatar’s iconic Lusail City – Business Square, the Piazza 1 and Piazza 2.
“Since Qatar’s successful World Cup bid, there has been a spike in enquiries about property in the capital, Doha. Momentum is building in Qatar’s property sector, and Damac Properties is confident that with the appointment of Draieh Contracting we will see construction rapidly accelerating at our three development sites,” said Niall Mc Loughlin, Senior Vice-President Damac Properties.
Lusail is Qatar’s newest planned city and is located about 15km north of Doha’s city centre. Damac has three luxury projects within the master development. Business Square is a 20-storey, architecturally-led, mixed-use residential and commercial tower, while the Piazza 1 and Piazza 2 are low-rise residential and office developments with an Italian flair.
Interest in Qatar’s property market has been two-fold, the awarding of the World Cup followed by the introduction of new regulations allowing foreigners to gain a residence permit when they purchase property. The new ruling allows foreign home owners to substitute a sponsor’s visa for five-year residency visas.
“The successful World Cup bid sparked interest in Qatar’s property market from international investors, which has increased with the introduction of the new foreign ownership laws. This combination is a potent mix, which is likely to strongly influence demand for property,” Mc Loughlin added.
Global real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle is forecasting a property boom in Qatar. It is predicting up to $14b of growth over the next 10 years, which could see prices rise by 30 per cent in the next five years and 50 per cent in the years leading up to its hosting of the World Cup.
Qatar is one of the most stable economies in the Middle East with the IMF forecasting growth of up to 18 per cent this year, the highest in the GCC. While the key driver of growth is the country’s push to increase production from its abundant gas reserves to lift Qatar’s export capacity, the economy will also get a boost from significant government investment in infrastructure.
Analysts estimate Qatar will spend about $90b over the next 11 years on housing and infrastructure. It has already announced a raft of major infrastructure works including a new metro and light rail system, a new port, up to 65,000 new hotel rooms, new expressways, nine new football stadiums, the refurbishment of three existing stadiums and a new causeway linking Qatar with Bahrain.
Mc Loughlin said: “The next decade in Qatar will be a golden age of opportunity. Damac Properties is excited about being part of the country’s extraordinary growth story. Qatar is transitioning, it’s innovating and the landscape is changing so rapidly that the rate of development can be dizzying.”
Lusail City is one of the largest master developments in Qatar, currently being built over 35km; it will eventually be home to up to 250,000 people. The city will have top-class marinas, residential areas, island resorts, commercial districts, luxury shopping and leisure facilities including two golf courses and an entertainment district.
State-owned Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company is the master developer of the project, which also includes 30km of waterfront. The main mode of public transportation will be the light-rail-transit, which will cover 22km with 34 stations (including seven underground) and two connections to the national rail system. A water transportation system and water taxis will connect the city to the new Doha International Airport and the West bay.