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Hotel Park

Sanjiban Ghosh/Flickr

Hotel Park

A popular park in front of Doha’s Sheraton Grand Hotel has officially opened to the public and will be home to some five restaurants and cafes in the coming year.

The new “Hotel Park,” formerly known as Sheraton Park, is comprised of seven hectares of gardens and is situated in the heart of the capital’s busy business district of Dafna.

It has been popular with residents since it soft-launched in January.

The park has been under construction for more than four years, led by developers QDVC, and was scheduled to open more than a year ago

Sheraton Park

Lesley Walker

Hotel Park

Modern in style and using geometric shapes, Hotel Park has been designed with a combination of soft and hard landscaping.

In a statement, Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla, chief executive of Katara Hospitality, said:

“Offering a natural relaxing landscape destination for family enjoyment is one way we aim to show continued appreciation of the valued residents of our community.”

Over the past few months, one of its main attractions has been its numerous water features, including fountains, streams, jets and waterfalls, although children appear to no longer be allowed to play in the park’s “wadi” area.

The park also features a semi-shaded children’s play area and adults’ outdoor fitness equipment in addition to its lawns.

Sheraton Park was redeveloped by QDVC.

Clarence Dosdos/Flickr

Sheraton Park was redeveloped by QDVC.

Billed as a “family-friendly” location, hotel owners and operating organization Katara Hospitality told Doha News today that five eateries are planned for the park.

Three are scheduled to open by the last quarter of this year, and a further two in early 2017, a Katara Hospitality spokeswoman said. She declined to give any specifics about the planned eateries.

In early July, after Eid Al Fitr, a video wall will be installed in the park that will feature details of events and activities taking place across the city.

Additionally, all toilets in the park are now open to the public, Katara Hospitality said.

Parking charges

Last month, the park’s four-story underground parking lot, which has space for 2,500 vehicles, opened to the public.

After initially allowing visitors to park there for free, charges will be imposed from today, Katara Hospitality said in its statement.

An underground tunnel will eventually connect the new hotel car park with the new Doha Exhibition and Conference Center (DECC).

Work on this project is complete on the park’s end, but further construction is needed at DECC. The tunnel is planned to open next year, the Katara Hospitality spokeswoman said.

Thoughts?

Photos by Matthew Walker and Lesley Walker

The new public park in front of the Sheraton Doha Hotel in Dafna has finally opened to visitors and already appears to be proving a hit with children and adults alike.

The seven hectares of public gardens, situated at the top end of the Corniche and in the heart of the capital’s bustling business district, includes “dancing” water fountains that spout out of the ground.

The design of the park centers around water, with the section nearest to West Bay’s towers including at least five different “wadi”-style features, including mini-fountains, waterfalls and small streams.

There are also jets of water that strike against elevated cymbals to make music.

Sheraton Park

Matthew Walker

Sheraton Park

Modern in style and using geometric shapes, the park has been designed with a combination of soft and hard landscaping.

There is plenty of flat, grassy areas for picnics, while a large, pyramid-shaped mound offers picturesque views of the nearby Corniche and West Bay.

A playground at the top end near Ooredoo tower includes play equipment particularly suited to younger children, as well as two sand pits.

Playground at Sheraton Park

Lesley Walker

Playground at Sheraton Park

Nearby, there are also outdoor fitness machines for adults.

No toilets, cafes

Though the park had plenty of visitors yesterday, there has been no official announcement of its opening from developers QDVC, which was unavailable to comment to Doha News.

Sheraton Park

Clarence Dosdos/Flickr

Sheraton Park

However, QDVC previously said the park will also have cafes, restaurants and toilets. But none of these appear to be open yet.

The two-story underground car park, which is beneath the park and which has space for around 2,000 vehicles, is also still closed, though it has opened for one-off events such as the Stereophonics concert outside the Sheraton hotel in November.

When it does open, there will be around a dozen elevators leading from the parking lot up to the park, according to QDVC’s website.

Aerial view of Sheraton Park

QDVC

Aerial view of Sheraton Park

An underground tunnel connecting the car park with the recently-opened Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) was also planned.

The park has been under construction for more than four years and was scheduled to open more than a year ago.

While the perimeter hoardings were taken down and the park appeared finished for the GCC leaders’ conference which was held in Doha in December 2014, it was not opened to the public.

Do you plan to check it out? Thoughts?

HIA

Damon McDonald/Flickr

HIA

Qatar’s attorney general has appointed a committee to look into the damage caused by last month’s rain, following the prime minister’s order to investigate several “flawed projects.”

Those buildings have now been identified as Hamad International Airport, the traffic department building, several schools and the Sheraton Doha hotel, QNA reports.

Widely shared video footage last month showed rain and flooding inside the buildings, though at the time the Sheraton reportedly said it was dealing with a burst pipe.

According to QNA, the investigation will be led by Dr. Rashid Al Amari, dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Qatar University.

He is also tasked with appointing a few engineering professors, as well as two experts in the fields of accounting and contracts.

The committee will have two months to report their findings to the public prosecution’s office.

Rain-hit

Last month, Qatar received a year’s worth of rain in about nine hours.

Flooding on the roads

Flooding on the roads

The deluge caused traffic gridlock due to flooding in many areas. Additionally, several schools and and malls across the country reported leakage and ceiling collapses, causing them to close temporarily.

Qatar’s Hamad International Airport, which opened last year, was especially hard hit.

Though the airport did not close, there were multiple reports of water raining down into the passenger terminal, provoking widespread criticism about the structure’s soundness:

A few days after the PM ordered an investigation into the chaos, the attorney general issued a travel ban on company owners, contractors and consulting engineers who may be liable for the damage.

At the time, Al Marri said the ban would remain in place as the state investigates what happened during the rainfall and decides who to charge for the ensuing chaos, which included flooded roads and damaged buildings.

Thoughts?