By Doha News Team
A new luxury resort with a water park and four-star hotel will be built on an island off the coast of Lusail, Katara Hospitality announced this week.
The triangular Qetaifan Island North is expected to attract both tourists and residents.
The first phase of the project — the aqua park and 400-room hotel — should be completed by spring 2022, the state-funded hospitality group said.
Renderings of the resort show multiple pools with water slides, all set in landscaped grounds and adjacent to a series of beaches.
Leading off that is a pier extending out to another smaller island, and little trains appear to run the length of the connection.
The project is the first new tourist development to be announced since Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) said last week that it will be ramping up efforts to attract 5.6 million visitors to the country by 2023.
The resort will be developed and managed by a new company, Qetaifan Projects, which is a QR11 billion subsidiary of Katara Hospitality.
Meanwhile, project management consultants Atkins will design the masterplan, infrastructure and components of phase one.
A shopping plaza, park, souq, mixed-use retail complex and staff accommodation are all planned for the second stage of the island’s development.
Katara Hospitality has not yet given an opening date for this phase.
The development will be one of two adjacent islands off the coast of Lusail city.
Qetaifan Island South is being run by Lusail Real Estate Development Company and will feature luxury villas.
In March 2014, 50 plots were sold to developers, while a year later a further 35 plots villas were snapped up in a public offering.
According to Lusail’s website, this island promises “exclusive property” with communal areas, dune-grassed landscaping with boardwalks as well as pools and spas.
Both islands will be connected to the mainland by “iconic” hanging bridges, Katara Hospitality said.
Previous plans have shown a cluster of four islands, however the latest announcement mentions only two.
The new island is the latest development for Katara Hospitality. It plans to expand its current portfolio of 42 hotels in a dozen countries, to 60 properties by 2026.
Construction is underway on another key landmark project by Katara Hospitality in the new city — Katara Towers, which are expected to be complete by 2020.
When complete, it will house two hotels, luxury apartments, restaurants and entertainment and recreation facilities.
The hotel owner/operator has billed the north island development as a “key element of Lusail City’s expansion.”
Ambitious plans for Lusail include attracting 200,000 people to live there by 2022. However, much of the new city is still under construction.
In addition to hosting Qatar’s centerpiece World Cup stadium, the city will have multiple hotels and upscale shopping malls as well as residential complexes and business towers.
Additionally, a light rail network is being built, which will ultimately have four mainlines covering 33km.
The first line — yellow — is expected to start operating in January 2019, with the rest following by 2020, according to the joint venture QDVC.
This is not the first time developers have proposed plans for new island resorts off Qatar’s coast.
In May 2013, Barwa Real Estate announced the $5.5 billion Oryx Island, which would feature a water park, villas with private beaches and five floating hotels, to be used during the 2022 World Cup.
The manmade island would have been built using excavated material from the construction of the Doha Metro, Barwa officials said at the time.
However, just a year later those plans have already been shelved.
Meanwhile, in Lusail itself, Bandary Real Estate announced in 2015 it would be building a different water park, called Amwaj (“waves”), which has multiple pools next to two linked residential towers.