Tenders open for Qatar’s Katara Towers as Lusail development gears up

All photos courtesy of Kling Consult

In another sign of the accelerating pace of development at Lusail City, Katara Hospitality has opened tenders for its iconic “crossed swords” twin towers.

In adverts published in local media yesterday, the state-owned hospitality group invited contractors to bid for the substructure and basement works package for the project.

Eligible bidders should have “demonstrated experience and prompt delivery records,” and can be locally based firms or joint ventures between local and international entities.

The package they are invited to submit tenders for includes excavation, piling, concrete works and underground electro-mechanical works.

There is no timeline for when this construction is expected to be underway and Katara Hospitality has not commented on the development.

The design of the “Katara Towers” is inspired by Qatar’s crossed-swords insignia and will dominate the skyline of the marina district.

The project is estimated to cost approximately QR2.2 billion (US$600 million) and is expected to be completed by early 2017. That’s later than the 2016 target officials originally said they were aiming for when the towers were first unveiled two years ago.

Katara Hospitality tender ad

Designed by German-based civil engineering and design firm Kling Consult, the 300,000 sqm development will feature a five-star hotel geared toward business travelers, a 614-room “six-star” luxury hotel and apartment block for permanent residents, restaurants, entertainment outlets including a VIP cinema, shops and a private cigar lounge as well as meeting and conference facilities, according to a statement issued by Katara Hospitality last fall.

An artificial beach island will also be built just off the shore and be linked to the towers’ promenade by bridges. It will host aquatic sports, restaurants and contain water parks, the statement says.

Enabling works got under way last year, and UAE/Australian contractors Al Habtoor Leighton began piling works in November 2013.

Lusail progress

Plans for Lusail City are ambitious. Touted to be home to around 450,000 residents once complete, there are four purpose-built islands and 19 “multi-purpose residential, mixed-use, entertainment and commercial districts.”

Lesley Walker

A Lusail construction site, seen earlier this year.

However, progress on the complex has been slow. The development known as The Piazza, built by Damac, stands alone in what should be a lush, residential area to the north of the city.

Instead, it is surrounded by dust and excavation heaps as work on the other planned developments around it has barely started.

This summer, residents complained that seven years after signing to buy apartments on the site, construction was still not complete.

Nevertheless, firms continue to announce new projects slated to take place in the city. Earlier this year, the lead contractor of Lusail’s under-construction light-rail transit system announced that works were continuing and the first line would begin operations in 2018.

Meanwhile in October, United Developers released designs for its US$1.25 billion mega-mall Place Vendome, which will be built at Lusail City.

Twice the footprint of Villaggio Mall, the new shopping venue aims to attract high-end customers and has design elements reflecting the central Parisian neighborhood of the same name.

It is due to include serviced apartments, entertainment zones, a pair of five-star hotels and up to 400 retail outlets when it is completed in the the third quarter of 2017.


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