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Msheireb Properties

Rendering of phase 4 at Msheireb Downtown Doha

Construction of the final stage of Doha’s upcoming downtown area will soon get underway, after the site’s developer announced it has awarded a contract for the project.

Phase four of the Msheireb Downtown Doha development will be overseen by a joint venture between Qatar-based Teyseer Contracting Co. and Consolidated Contractors Co. (CCC), a Greek firm.

In a statement this week week, Msheireb Properties said the last phase will include a public plaza as well as 11 buildings to be used as apartments, offices and shops.

Five-star hotels and a medical office building are also planned across a total floor area of 132,000 square meters.

Additionally, there will be six underground parking areas and a link to the Msheireb station. The largest of the network’s stations, it will serve as a hub that connects the red, gold and green lines.

Msheireb Properties, which is a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation (QF), declined to give a timeline for expected completion of the final phase of the project.

Qatar Rail

Al Mayeda TBM breakthrough at Msheireb station in 2015.

However, on its website, CCC states that it should be finished by July 2020.

The value of the contract has not been publicly disclosed.

Major projects

CCC is already involved in several high-profile public projects in Qatar.

For example, it along with local construction company Midmac is finishing up the Sidra Medical and Research Center.

Sidra

Sidra Hospital

It took over the project just days after QF sacked Spanish firm OHL and Contrack International in mid-2014.

And less than a year later, CCC also replaced a consortium led by OHL for construction of the main Metro stations at Msheireb and Education City.

Qatar Rail terminated the consortium’s contract last May in a letter to the London Stock Exchange.

Redevelopment

The QR20 billion (US$5.5 billion) Msheireb Downtown project has been under construction for more than seven years and is being built in stages.

However, it has already missed some deadlines.

The plan is to redevelop the old commercial area into a modern district that brings together retail, residential and commercial buildings, as well as hotels and cultural and educational entities.

Lesley Walker / Doha News

Lobby at Company House, Msheireb Museums

The heritage quarter, which includes the Msheireb Museums and Eid Prayer Ground, is already complete and open to the public.

A new national archives is also on the corner of the site, near the falcon souq at Souq Waqif.

Meanwhile, a school, Qatar Academy Msheireb, opened its doors on the downtown site in 2015.

And last September, the Qatar Financial Center (QFC) announced it would be relocating to Msheireb as part of an effort to woo more businesses to the area.

Msheireb Properties

Rendering of phase 4 at Msheireb Downtown Doha

The district will also have a multiplex movie theater, with Novo Cinemas saying it will open a branch in the under-construction Galleria Mall later this year.

The entire Downtown Doha project will include shops and a cultural forum that features two art house cinemas and a performing arts theater.

In addition to the 100 commercial and government buildings, Msheireb will have 900 houses and apartments, eventually accommodating a residential population of 2,600 people.

Thoughts?

QFC/Twitter

Rendering of redeveloped Musheireb district

Qatar residents living near the Msheireb Downtown Doha development will see a new multi-screen cinema open in the neighborhood this year, Novo Cinemas has announced.

The cinema will include regular and “7-Star” screens that have VIP services and reclining seats. It will be located inside Msheireb’s The Galleria shopping center.

That mall is still under construction, but when completed will have 100 stores. It will include an Al Meera supermarket and a children’s entertainment zone, Msheireb said earlier this month.

Msheireb/Facebook

Msheireb Galleria mall

Novo already operates at the Pearl-Qatar, 01 Mall in Abu Hamour and recently opened a 19-screen complex at the new Mall of Qatar.

In a statement, Novo CEO Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen said:

“We look forward to developing a cultural and innovative cinema space for this revolutionary neighborhood with the help of Msheireb Properties.”

Msheireb’s progress

The QR20 billion Msheireb project is still under construction and has seen some delays.

When finished, it aims to combines commercial, residential, retail and cultural entities in one development.

Msheireb Properties

Rendering of redeveloped Msheireb Doha Downtown

Last fall, Msheireb Properties CEO Abdullah Hassan al-Mehshadi said work on the first three phases of the project is “80 percent complete.”

He added that the company is working with Qatar Rail on the fourth and final phase.

So far, the development houses a museum that opened last year and one school – Qatar Academy Msheireb.

A mosque is also occasionally open to the public during Eid prayers.

Thoughts?

Note: This article has been updated to reflect that the number of screens has not yet been determined.

Rendering of redeveloped Musheireb district

QFC/Twitter

Rendering of redeveloped Msheireb district

Farewell, West Bay.

Doha’s under-construction Msheireb district is now aiming to become a new financial and business center for Qatar, with the first firms expected to move in next summer.

The announcement was made yesterday after Qatar Financial Center (QFC) said that all new companies who register with it will work on the site.

That will include both local and international organizations, it added.

Phased move

QFC is a Doha-based onshore business and financial center that has its own legal, regulatory, tax and business rules.

These include allowing firms to be wholly foreign-owned and to repatriate all of their profits.

Currently, existing companies registered with the QFC will not be required to move, the organization said.

But the center’s main office relocation will take place in phases over the next three years starting from summer 2017, QFC’s chief executive said.

Changing West Bay

If all of QRC’s firms opt to move, West Bay is going to become a lot less crowded in the coming years.

Some 300 companies – including banks, law firms, accountancy firms, management consultants and media/PR agencies – are currently registered with QFC, according to its website.

These are based in more than 45 designated premises across Doha, including the two QFC towers in Dafna/West Bay and several other high-profile locations there.

Doha's West Bay

Lesley Walker

Doha\’s West Bay

The West Bay area has become increasingly congested in recent years and parking spaces come at a premium, which can cause problems for visitors to offices in the area.

As a result, Qatar’s authorities have been taking steps to encourage firms to set up in other areas.

For example, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) and Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) have moved from their previous West Bay offices to Lusail City, which is still being built.

Doha Metro rendering

Qatar Rail

Doha Metro rendering

And those who shift to downtown will be able to use the Musheireb station, the main stop for the new Doha Metro, to get to the work.

However, the first phase of this is not expected to open to passengers until early 2020.

Additionally, there will be a total of 10,000 underground car parking spaces for the whole Msheireb Downtown Doha site.

Move timeline

The new Msheireb business district will also house non-QFC companies in around 100 buildings.

Rendering of redeveloped Msheireb Doha Downtown

Msheireb Properties

Rendering of redeveloped Msheireb Doha Downtown

The plan for the new downtown area, which is being developed by real estate firm Msheireb Properties, is akin to London’s Canary Wharf. It combines commercial, residential, retail and cultural entities in one complex.

The first companies – newly registered QFC firms – will start moving into the district next summer.

Organizations that are already registered and have offices elsewhere in the country can relocate in phases over the following two to three years.

In a statement, QFC said:

“Following the QFC’s relocation and move of QFC firms, other QFC entities including the Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority, the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Center and the Qatar Finance and Business Academy will relocate as well. Their relocation is expected to be complete in 2019.”

The creation of the new business area is part of Qatar’s economic diversification from its reliance on hydrocarbons, QFC’s chief executive Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida said.

Msheireb development

The old Musheireb neighborhood traditionally housed hundreds of small businesses and shops.

Many of the shopping and residential complexes were demolished several years ago to allow for the total reconstruction and modernization of the district.

It is being built in phases, although some deadlines have been missed.

According to Msheireb Properties CEO Abdullah Hassan al-Mehshadi, work on the first three phases of the development is “80 percent complete.”

He told Gulf Times that the company is working with Qatar Rail on the fourth phase.

Qatar Academy Msheireb Building in Msheireb Downtown Doha project

Msheireb Properties

Qatar Academy Msheireb Building in Msheireb Downtown Doha project

So far, the development houses one school – Qatar Academy Msheireb, which opened its doors last September.

And last summer, Msheireb Properties announced that its first commercial tenant in its Al Baraha district would be the International Center for Sport Security (ICSS), which is also part of the QF stable.

Offerings

When finished, the entire Downtown Doha project will include shops and a cultural forum that features two art house cinemas and a performing arts theater.

In addition to the 100 commercial and government buildings, Msheireb will have 900 houses and apartments, eventually accommodating a residential population of 2,600 people.

There is also a mosque, a museum and 120,000 square meters of parks and open space.

Rendering of Msheireb's Al Baraha area

Msheireb Properties/Facebook

Rendering of Msheireb’s Al Baraha area

Additionally, there will be four hotels, including a Mandarin Oriental which is set to open this year and a Park Hyatt.

In the heritage quarter, next to the Emiri Diwan, government buildings include the National Archive, four restored houses that comprise Msheireb Museums and Eid prayer ground.

These are across from Al Koot Fort near Souq Waqif and first opened in 2014.

Thoughts?