Browsing 'lusail city' News

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Lusail’s Twin Towers

Several unique-looking buildings are coming up in Qatar over the next few years at the sprawling Lusail City.

The under-construction site north of Doha aims to eventually house 200,000 residents on four purpose-built islands and in 19 multi-purpose districts.

One recently completed project is a set of new 32-story office buildings called the Marina Twin Towers.

Gold Bay Real Estate

The Marina Twin Towers in Lusail

The cubes in the new colorful buildings are deliberately stacked unevenly for visual effect, and are in some ways reminiscent of Qatar’s Zig Zag Towers near Lagoona Mall.

According to agents Gold Bay, the towers were inspired by “the traditional architectural design in Qatar, the cube.”

It added that the different colors reflect “the mixture of civilizations in the State of Qatar.”

Other projects

On its website, Gold Bay also lists two other upcoming buildings in Lusail:

The first is Mansour Gate, a $294 million development that’s to be built in Lusail’s Energy City, which will headquarter international oil and gas firms.

Gold Bay Real Estate

Al Mansour Gate

When completed, Al Mansour Gate will spread over an area of 35,000 square meters and include a compound of four commercial offices and retail buildings, as well as an independent boutique hotel.

There’s also Cubes Tower.

This upcoming 22-floor waterfront residential building is set to be located northeast of Lusail’s Fox Hills neighborhood.

Gold Bay Real Estate

Lusail Cubes Tower

The property contains seven luxury apartments on each floor, and penthouses on the top two floors.

All three buildings – Marina Twin Towers, Al Mansour Gate and Cubes Tower – have been designed by Lebanese firm E Square Architects.

Another building that’s been generating some buzz is the distinctive crossed-swords Katara Towers.

Kling Consult

The Katara Towers at Lusail

Situated in Marina City, the luxury hotel will include apartments, restaurants and entertainment and recreational facilities.

It was originally expected to be built by 2016, but the opening has now been pushed back to 2020, according to Katara Hospitality’s website.

Lusail’s development

Lusail City was first conceived over a decade ago, but work on it has been slow, with some real estate experts attributing delays to lukewarm demand.

Still, construction is ramping up as the city prepares to host the opening and closing games of the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar 2022 Bid Committee

Lusail Stadium rendering, as submitted by Qatar during bid process.

Contractors for the stadium were appointed in November. And the official design is expected to be revealed early this year.

The project is slated to be completed by 2020.

Thoughts?

Mourjan Marinas - Lusail City

Blue Marine

Mourjan Marinas – Lusail City

Water sports fans in Qatar can now try their hand at high-intensity activities including flyboarding, jetpacking and waterskiing at Lusail City’s marina, its operators have said.

The Mourjan Marina has in the past hosted events such as the Qatar International Boat Show, but the sports are one of the first amenities open to the public in the under-construction city.

Flyboarding at Lusail

Blue Marine

Flyboarding at Lusail

The popular water sports are in addition to the yacht charters, dhow trips and fishing expeditions that Lusail has already begun offering as part of plans to serve as a recreation and entertainment hub in Qatar.

Among the sports now on offer are wakeboarding, kite surfing, waterskiing and kayaking, as well as higher-energy activities such as flyboarding, jetpacking and hoverboarding, according to Blue Marine, which will be running the activities at the site.

In those intense sports, the rider stands on a board, with a waterhose attached to a watercraft. Water is forced under pressure to a pair of boots with jet nozzles underneath, which can propel the rider 15m up into the air, where he or she can do tricks and dives.

Prices start from QR100 for 30 minutes of kayaking and go up to QR900 for one hour of flyboarding, hoverboarding and jetpacking.

While online bookings aren’t yet available for the sports, the company’s operations manager told Doha News that reservations can be made onsite or through its Facebook page.

Kite surfing at Mourjan Marinas - Lusail City

Blue Marine

Kite surfing at Mourjan Marinas – Lusail City

“We are the only people in Qatar to offer a full range of water sports activities, including flyboarding and waterskiing, which no-one else does here yet,” Blue Marine’s head of operations Hashim Alaitah said.

In addition to water sports, the Lusail City marina has 142 berths for yachts of between eight and 40m and three shaded lounges over the water for entertaining guests.

Water sports are growing in popularity in Qatar and are offered by a number of operators at Katara Cultural Village, the Pearl-Qatar, the Diplomatic Club and hotels with beach access.

City development

The Lusail waterfront is set to be one of the focal points of the new city, which is being built from scratch to accommodate a population of 200,000 residents.

Mourjan Marinas - Lusail City

Blue Marine

Mourjan Marinas – Lusail City

Divided into 19 districts, the 38 sq km city which is north of Doha will have residential, commercial and entertainment areas.

There will also be four purpose-built islands and a light rail line, according to its master developer Lusail Real Estate Development Company, which is part of Qatari Diar.

Amwaj Suites and Residences

Al Bandary Real Estate

Amwaj Suites and Residences

Many plans to develop the area are ambitious and high-end, including previously-announced schemes for a waterpark-themed tower, with pools on multiple floors, some of which are connected by water slides.

The city will also house a $1.25 billion mixed-use development Place Vendome, which will include a shopping center, hotels and apartments when it’s scheduled to open in 2017.

While work on the marina district has been underway for some time, construction on Lusail as a whole is well behind its initial deadlines.

The first phase was initially supposed to be completed in 2011. The Lusail City Real Estate Development Co. subsequently predicted the first residents would move in by the end of 2013.

Sign to Lusail's Fox Hills

Lesley Walker

Sign to Lusail\’s Fox Hills

There have been reports since then about some tenants being handed keys to a few properties last year.

Investors in the Damac development The Piazza in Fox Hills complained of years of delays on the construction of their apartments.

Despite signing up for them in 2007, the buyers only got handover of their properties a few months ago, and many complained they were not of the standard they had been promised.

Meanwhile, early this year, one of Qatar’s largest developers Barwa Real Estate Group started design work on what it called its “Dara” development, which is a 147,000-square-meter project which will be among the largest in the Fox Hills residential area.

Do you plan to try out the new sports? Thoughts?

Lusail City Fox Hills North rendering

TERRA Engineering

Lusail City Fox Hills North rendering

One of Qatar’s largest developers has started design work on hundreds of new homes in Lusail City, although any influx of residents to the long-awaited master-planned community is still years away.

Barwa Real Estate Group recently signed an QR88 million (US$24.17 million) contract with architectural and engineering consulting firm Erga Qatar for the second phase of its Fox Hills development.

Dubbed “Dara,” Barwa has said its 147,000-square-meter project would be among the largest in the Fox Hills residential area of Lusail, portions of which are being developed by several different firms.

Lusail City

The vision for Lusail City – which includes hotels, office buildings, a light-rail line and homes for some 200,000 residents – appears to be materializing more slowly than many had hoped when plans were conceived in 2004.

The first phase was initially supposed to be completed in 2011. The Lusail City Real Estate Development Co. subsequently predicted the first residents would move in by the end of 2013. There have been reports since then about some tenants being handed keys to a few properties last year.

Damac development of Lusail in 2014.

Lesley Walker

Damac development of Lusail in 2014.

But at Fox Hills, which is also being developed by Dubai-based Damac properties, investors continue to lament long delays.

In 2007, many individuals jumped at the opportunity to purchase property in Qatar and placed a deposit with Damac. As of mid-2014, those homebuyers were still waiting for the keys to their units in “The Piazza” development.

Damac appears to have scaled back and altered the designs from what was initially presented in the marketing material. Meanwhile, the area still resembles an active construction zone.

In an interview with Doha News last year, Irish engineer Saad Hussain Ali, who has purchased two flats in Fox Hills, said:

“It has taken nearly eight years. I just want someone to give me a straight answer – when will our properties be properly ready – when will they be finished and when can we have the deeds and the keys to them?

This money was our pension, but it has just gone into a black hole.”

Development work in Fox Hills should intensify in the coming years as Barwa begins constructing its units.

The local firm starting selling units in the first phase of its Dara development last June and sold all of the available 231 homes within a day, company officials told Doha News at the time.

Construction was supposed to start in 2014 and is slated to wrap up in the first quarter of 2017.

Sign to Lusail's Fox Hills

Lesley Walker

Sign to Lusail\’s Fox Hills

In a statement announcing the contract with Erga Qatar last week, Barwa said the company “will be taking faster steps towards implementing the first phase of the project to conform to the agreed timelines.”

Work on the second phase is expected to take three years and wrap up in September 2018.

In addition to residential units, Barwa says its development will include basement car parks, hotels, restaurants, commercial units, green spaces, swimming pools and sports facilities.

It plans to construct 53 residential and multi-use buildings. Barwa officials have previously told Doha News and other media outlets that Dana will contain 1,000 residential units. This month’s statement, however, states it will contain 2,000 units.

Company officials were not immediately available to explain the discrepancy.

Lusail golf development

As Barwa prepares to begin constructing its Fox Hills homes in earnest, it’s also laying the groundwork for a multibillion-dollar golf community in Lusail.

Plans for the development were released in 2012 and included at the time an 18-hole Greg Norman-designed golf course, some 4,000 homes, a hotel and a shopping complex.

Rendering of Lusail Golf Clubhouse

Barwa

Rendering of Lusail Golf Clubhouse

The 3.66 million square meter development – which represents approximately 10 percent of all of Lusail City – was expected to be completed by 2018 when the concept was first unveiled. It’s not clear if that timeline has been revised since then.

Barwa became involved in the project in 2011 when it purchased a 50-percent interest in the property and formed a joint venture company with a subsidiary of Bahrain-based investment firm Arcapita.

Earlier this month, a subsidiary of Barwa Real Estate bought out Arcapita’s stake for QR2.48 billion ($681.74 million), bringing all of the Lusail golf course project under the Barwa Group’s control.

To help finance the acquisition, Barwa Real Estate sold two land plots in the Mesaimeer area for QR5.34 billion in a deal that closed earlier this month.

Barwa said the remainder of the proceeds from the Mesaimeer sale would help the company – which has been offloading assets onto the Qatar government to help it reduce debt levels – finance current development projects.

Thoughts?