Two local construction companies have been awarded major contracts worth a combined total of $32 million (QR118m) to kickstart Qatar’s upcoming mega-zoo project, Ashghal has announced.
When completed in 2017, the new zoo will be seven times the size of the current 30-year-old zoo, which closed abruptly in August 2012. It is slated to include some 3,000 animals and be constructed at the same site as the existing facility, opposite Aspire Park and Villaggio Mall.
Aswan began site preparation works on the zoo earlier this month, under its 14-month, $12.3 million (QR45m) deal. Speaking to Doha News, an Ashghal spokeswoman confirmed that zoo animals continue to reside onsite. She added:
“The health and wellness of the Doha Zoo’s animals are of utmost priority. The enabling works that have commenced will be undertaken while ensuring the protection and maintenance of all the natural environments of the zoo.”
The animals will remain at the former zoo for at least another year, as a second contractor begins building an animal containment facility to house them when construction moves forward.
That task has been delegated to Medgulf Construction Co. which won a one-year, $20 million (QR73m) contract to design and implement the temporary facility in Rawdhat Al Faras, off of Al Shamal Highway at the Al Zubara Interchange. That building would include residences for caretakers and a veterinary clinic, Ashghal said.
It is unclear what would become of the facility when the new zoo opens.
In December 2012, Ashghal signed a $63 million contract with KEO International Consultants, who are the project’s design and construction supervision advisors.
Last November, the company unveiled their concept master plan, explaining that the zoo would be a 75-hectare facility divided into several regions themed around three continents: an African safari, an Asian woodland and a South American rainforest.
And last month, Ashghal senior planner Gregory Clarkson added that a controlled biosphere roof system would be installed in part of the zoo, allowing it to “rain” once an hour.
Other features would include three hotels, a cable car link from Villaggio mall and a landscaped walkway across Al Waab Street, linking the zoo with Aspire Park.
Note: This article has been corrected to reflect the correct name of KEO International Consultants.