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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

Only time will tell whether people will stay in Dubai or Qatar, but I believe that, given all the connectivity and openness, Dubai will probably still be the first preference…

Mansour Ahmed, director of property service consultant Colliers MENA, in an interview with Construction Week Online about the Gulf’s next major growth point.

In the short-term, Ahmed forecasts that Saudi Arabia will be a bright spot, as the country pours billions of dollars into infrastructure-building.

But five years on, when it comes down to a choice between Qatar and Dubai, the latter will win out, thanks to “greater transparency and the freehold and leasehold laws.”

He adds:

We would love to open our office (in Doha), as we have a lot of projects there, but there is not a lot of good office space in Qatar, and the prices are double or triple in some places compared with Dubai.

Over the next six to eight years there will be plenty of investment in Qatar for the World Cup, but we are concerned about what will happen after the World Cup, because at this moment it is not clear whether or not they are building things just for the World Cup, or whether they can be used after.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Gary Denham