An 18-hole championship golf course, five-star hotel and public park are part of a massive new luxury development that’s being planned in “the heart of Education City,” Qatar Foundation has announced.
The project, dubbed the Qatar International Golf Club, is also expected to include a six-hole championship course – something QF describes as “a first of its kind anywhere in the world” – a nine-hole par-three course as well as a driving range and practice facilities, according to a statement released today.
Officials were not immediately available to discuss the specific location, cost or opening date of the project.
However, a golf course, occupying much of the southwest corner of campus, appears in renderings of an Education City master plan that was released in 2012, suggesting that QF is going ahead with long-held plans despite recent budget cuts.
The master plan vision also includes plans for residential developments and a football stadium that will be used in the 2022 World Cup.
When completed, the new club will feature “female-centric practice facilities” in line with “local culture and traditions,” QF said.
Plans for the golf club come amid a wider push to increase the number of recreational opportunities available to Qatar residents and tourists.
The project will be operated by QF subsidiary Amlak. The commercial arm of the local science, research and education organization, Amlak manages several properties including the Qatar National Convention Center.
“By revolutionising the way golf is taught and enjoyed, we hope to encourage greater participation in the sport amongst the local community,” Abdul Aziz Al Emadi, the CEO of Amlak Holding, said in a statement.
The history of golf in Qatar is closely tied with the country’s early energy developments.
Qatar’s first golf course was built in the late 1940s in Dukhan for expat oil workers, according to a local history of the sport published by the Qatar Golf Association.
That sand-and-oil course near Qatar’s west coast was later expanded to 18 holes in 1997, the Qatar Petroleum’s Dukhan community website states.
Several years after the first round was played in Dukhan, the Mesaieed Golf Club opened in 1951 as a nine-hole brown golf course built with sand and oil mixture. It was expanded to 18 holes in 1959.
However, Qatar’s most well-known course is the Doha Golf Club near Qatar University. It’s been the home of the Qatar Masters golf tournament since 1998, which now attracts some of the largest names in the sport with $2.5 million in prize money.
The Doha Golf Club is the only grass course in Qatar and has been described as one of the first in the Middle East.
Spread over 150 hectares, the Doha Golf Club features eight artificial lakes and has been landscaped with approximately 5,000 shrubs, 6,000 trees and 10,000 cacti imported from the American state of Arizona.
Renderings of the Qatar International Golf Club show its courses covered in grass.
While a statement said the facility will become one of the most “sustainable golf courses in the world,” desert golf courses in other parts of the world have come under increased scrutiny for their enormous use of water.
Would you play a round of golf at Education City? Thoughts?