One of Qatar’s oldest and most popular parks should reopen to visitors by the end of this year, officials have announced.
Due to its location off of the Corniche, Al Rumaila Park will also serve as a fan zone during the 2022 World Cup, the Private Engineering Office said.
The venue, also known as Al Bida Park, was once a popular picnic location for many residents. It had a children’s playground, several small shops and a heritage center called Cultural Village.
It closed three years ago for renovations. In that time, a new underground parking garage that can hold 6,000 cars has been added.
Gymnasiums for men and women, outdoor exercise equipment, more playgrounds and an 850-seat open theater are also in the works.
Additionally, there will be bicycle, horse and camel tracks as well as service facilities, the PEO said in a statement.
Ahead of the park’s launch, an adjacent road has been repaved with red asphalt, presumably to mimic red carpet.
The road, Al Bidda/Majlis Al Tawaan St., stretches from the Emir Diwan to the National Theater.
Roadblocks have been installed to close off the street for pedestrians during holidays like National Day and Sport Day, the PEO said.
They will also likely be used during the World Cup.
Qatar has planned several fan zones for the tournament, at which visitors will be able to purchase alcohol, enjoy entertainment and tune into the the matches being played.
So far, Al Rumaila is among the first locations of the zones to be announced.
Grand Park questions
When the park closed in 2014, officials didn’t say how long construction would go for, or what the redevelopment would look like.
However, the works were thought to be connected to the large-scale Doha Grand Park project.
That plan involved redeveloping a stretch of land from the Qatar Sports Club down to Al Rayyan Road, to create an urban green space similar to New York’s Central Park or Hyde Park in London.
However, this project had been previously shelved, and it is unclear if it will go ahead at all.