Government officials have announced plans to construct a new Souq Haraj, home of one of Qatar’s largest second-hand markets, next to Barwa Village.
Currently, the souq sells a wide range of used household goods such as furniture, appliances, carpets and electronics, among others items.
Its low prices make it popular with bargain hunters as well as many low and middle-income earners in Qatar, where the cost of living is climbing faster than salaries for many individuals.
The current Souq Haraj is located in Najma. Plans surfaced in mid-2013 to demolish the market and make way for a pair of hotels and a modern commercial center.
A “pre-concept design” for the new City Center Haraj showed plans for a 78,000 square meter mall, two four-star hotels that include serviced apartments and 3,200 parking spots.
The project – which is being developed by Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani’s company, Al Faisal Holdings – “aims to gentrify the whole Al Matar neighborhood into becoming a fine residential area of Doha,” according to the brief prepared by architectural firm Promontorio.
The plan, according to the document, was to open City Center Haraj this year. However, a spokesperson for the developer told Doha News that there is no new timeline for the project.
However, Qatar’s Ministry of Economy and Commerce appears to be moving forward with plans to construct a new Souq Haraj.
Starting tomorrow, developers can pick up tender documents and begin preparing bids to construct a new 35,000-square-meter souq that includes shops, restaurants and cafes.
While no location is explicitly mentioned, a map attached to an announcement published this week shows that the property is located on the west side of Barwa Village, which is off Al Wakrah Road, roughly 2km south of F-Ring Road.
The ministry called the new location “a strategic area to facilitate the demands of citizens and residents through providing a complete market with the necessary infrastructure.”
The new Souq Haraj project is being managed in part by Manateq, an “autonomous government company” set to spend billions of riyals developing and operating special economic zones in Qatar in the coming years.
The first is a warehousing and logistics hub named Ras Bufontas, which would be located on slightly more than four square kilometers of land south of the new Hamad International Airport, on the east side of Al Wakrah Road:
It’s unclear how the Souq Haraj project – which appears to be just outside Ras Bufontas – fits in with Manateq’s economic zones. The Manateq official overseeing the souq initiative could not be reached for comment today.
Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa officially launched the Ras Bufontas economic zone project in November. Along with touting its proximity to the airport, officials said companies will benefit from “a one-stop-shop for various essential services to start their operations.”
While last November’s announcement did not contain details on how Ras Bufontas would operate, companies inside special economic zones typically receive favorable financial treatment through breaks on corporate taxes and import duties compared to businesses located elsewhere in the country.
Governments typically set up special economic zones to attract foreign investment, create jobs and boost trade.
Locally, there is a “free zone” within the Qatar Science and Technology Park where licensed companies can be 100 percent foreign owned, hire expatriate employees and do not pay corporate taxes.
Manateq says the first of three phases in Ras Bufontas would be completed by March 2017.
I have been patiently waiting for the announcement of a new mall and thankfully my prayers have been answered. Thanks and praise to the government and leaders of Qatar for noticing this gap in the market and rewarding all citizens and residents with a new leisure outlet and somewhere to spend our hard earned money on useless tat.
Why does the steady drum of progress sound so hollow? BTW, Ras Bufontas – sounds like a great name for a hairdressers.
It’s actually the name of the place, “Ras Abu Fontas”.
I have mixed feelings about this. While I’m happy that there will be a mall here (as per my previous comment). Placing it in the middle of a residential neighborhood will only result in a horrendous traffic situation that is already putting a strain on current infrastructure (even if they expanded the roads, it will still not be enough).
By the way, will those people living in Tanween administered Barwa Village be getting another increase in rent when the Souq Haraj opens near them? Will it now cost the same as the Pearl?
The rent increase by Tanween is for ‘Barwa City’ and not Barwa Village.
In another article, it was stressed that future developments have to be focused towards areas, outside the main Doha city, in order to de-congest the main city. This is the opposite. Maybe the planners are busy making outlines of the city on paper, while the super rich developers are getting their project development plans approved somewhere, somehow.
my bad. 😛
But they increased the rent just because of the opening of Lulu and other commercial establishments in the area, right?
there is no /very little traffic in this area. i don’t hear any honking or vehicles skidding while applying brakes and large bangs [read accidents], while sitting in my office working. Also its very easy to get parking here! there is plenty of spaces especially in the ground adjacent to al meera.
Are you sure you know the area? When you’re talking about Al Meera, its actually a kilometer away from Souq Haraj. Its only a two lane road and surrounded by residential areas that are jam packed with workers and other individuals.
While there may be some changes, that might lead to the gentrification to the surrounding neighborhood. It is still one of the few places that are quite economical for families and workers.
Al Meera is much more than 1km from Souq Haraj. Must be at least 1.5km. I drover past Souq Haraj a few weeks back. Took me about 40 minutes to get from airport road to the roundabout on Bin Dirhem street. The traffic on Mansoura street is a NIGHTMARE!
Two lane road surrounded by residential areas??? are you sure you know the area???
I usually walk to my work place opposite souq haraj, because i never ever get parking, so i have to most times park somewhere else, most of the time on the ground, and i walk to work. so for me its not much distance.
I did enjoy wondering around the souq haraj….found some great kitch, sad to see it go…but rest assured another mall with baskin Robbins, mcdonalds, and Starbucks is exactly what is needed to gentrify the area…bravo…
In one fell swoop, more of the character of Doha is being destoyed.
It’s called ‘gentrification’, a euphemism for displacing the local population with people who have more money.
And by local population I am assuming you mean Asian migrants.
Well by local I meant the resident population, which is mostly Asian migrants, but there are also a lot of Arab expats there too. Well… there used to be, but not for much longer!
So by local you mean people residing temporarily in this country, on land owned by “The Locals”.
Yes, I am using the dictionary definition of local. I have pasted it below for you to clear up any confusion that this big word might be causing you:
belonging or relating to a particular area or neighborhood, typically exclusively so.
I don’t understand why the other guy’s comments were deleted. Perhaps he deleted them himself. He made a fair point (as did you) but you’re the one with the needless snide remarks. Of course the dictionary has several definitions of “local” that include yours and his. The fact remains that this is their country and the ownership of the property is not legally in question. The only people who have a justified complaint are those whose families have been here several generations but haven’t been offered citizenship. However, this issue is analytically separate as is the whole question of whether migrant laborers are treated fairly or not. Even in western countries there are eminent domain laws that permit a government to take land with fair compensation from the owners if there is a larger social purpose served. To be sure, these laws are of course frequently abused but, again, a separate issue legally from what is encompassed here.
I hasten to add that I don’t necessarily agree that yet another mall is a “larger social purpose.” I’m only mentioning that there is no violation of rights here irrespective of whether we agree or not on the wisdom of the use being contemplated for this space.
I like the name of the store. Pretty cool indeed.