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Survey: Gulf mega projects, including in Qatar, face slew of delays

Like in many other countries in the region, time can be a flexible notion in Qatar, as evidenced by the latest slew of delays in projects promised to be delivered by September.

Here are some things that were supposed to happen this month, but didn’t:

1) The opening of Ezdan mall

Despite an announcement by Ezdan Real Estate Co. to open Ezdan mall in Gharafa (near Landmark) in September 2012, a security guard there recently told Doha News that the opening has been delayed until early next year, at least.

Ezdan said they could not comment on when the mall is opening, but adds that it plans to release a statement soon.

2) The approval of a new media law

Legislation to reframe how media in this country is governed has been languishing for years. But Qatar’s Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage had said this summer that a new law to update the one forged in 1979 would be passed after Ramadan.

But the last Advisory Council session of the month, which took place last week, didn’t have it on the agenda. 

Not that all journalists are looking forward to the updated law – many have expressed concerns about clauses that prohibit the critiquing of countries “friendly” to Qatar or matters of “higher interest” to the state. 

3) The issuing of new radio licenses

As a knock-on effect of not passing the media law, the Ministry of Culture’s plans to issue new radio licenses to private companies after Ramadan have also been set back.

Just who will get the licenses is not yet known. But news and entertainment are expected to be offered on the new stations, whose frequency bands will be provided by the Qatar Media Foundation (QMF) and ictQATAR.

4) The opening session of the Doha Debates  

Qatar’s popular debate series has not yet commenced its new season. The debates, which were founded in 2004 and are run by fiery presenter Tim Sebastian, did not schedule a September session and has not yet announced any plans for an October debate. 

Rumors that the debates are being retooled have been circulating for months. Stay tuned as more information becomes available.

Did we miss anything? Thoughts?


Credit: Photo of Ezdan Mall by Shabina S. Khatri

Editor’s note: The first sententence of this post initially read “Like in many other Arab countries…” After objections by two of our readers, it was altered, given that it would not impact the story’s focus.

Conceived in 2004 but beset by delays and not expected to be completed until 2020, the construction of Lusail City has reached a new milestone.

The Lusail City Real Estate Development Company (LREDC) has announced that it’s handing over the city’s Marina District to investors for construction, after the completion of infrastructure on the site.

The Marina District is one of 19 separate districts eventually planned for Lusail, reportedly the largest single real estate project in Qatar.

The district is spread over 1.8 million square metres and is expected to house over 30,000 residents of Lusail’s eventual capacity of 200,000 residents when finished.

In July, LREDC announced that they expect Lusail’s first tenants to move in by the end of next year. 

This is significantly later than early estimates, with the Gulf Times reporting in 2009 that the first phase of Lusail was expected to be completed by 2011.

The Gulf Times also reported in November 2010 that parts of the Marina District were expected to be open to the public by the end of 2011.

LREDC is now focusing on delivering the Fox Hills residential district. 

This latest news will be a relief to investors, who’ve had a long wait to see a return. 

Some 80 percent of Lusail City’s total area was sold to developers by the end of 2009

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Cassim Shephard