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Sustainable Downtown Regeneration Project In Qatar

Dohaland goes abroad

Elisabeth Lang, eTN  Oct 08, 2010

MUNICH, Germany (eTN) - In miracle record time and on very short notice, Dohaland was exhibiting for the first time outside the domestic market and left visitors at EXPO REAL - the International Commercial Real Estate Trade Fair in Munich held from October 4-6, 2010 - in great astonishment.

It was not only for outstanding design of stand, which was designed and created in less than 25 days prior to opening, it was also for the added extravagant touch to the fair – the world's first sustainable downtown regeneration project in Doha, Qatar.

The Urban Development
Musheireb is magic and Dohaland’s flagship project, a US$5.5 billion pioneering development that will revive the old commercial heart of the city through a new architectural language based on community, spanning across a massive 35-hectare site.

A subsidiary of the Qatar Foundation, Dohaland was set up according to the vision of chairperson Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned to reclaim the country’s lost architectural identity and to create and build enviroments that represent the culture and aspirations of the people of Qatar.

Musheirab, Dohaland, is a subsidiary of the Qatar Foundation and aims to lead and inspire property development in Qatar, as well las foster the human potential for growth and prosperity in alignment with Qatar's "National Vision 2030." The mission of Dohaland is to enhance and contribute to the social dynamism, cultural heritage, and quality of life in Qatar and beyond.

The development will contain over 100 buildings with commercial and residential properties, along with retail, cultural, and entertainments areas. The buildings will be 3 to 30 stories high. By following the traditional street pattern of the past, Mushereib will place cars and tradional services underground in several basement levels.

The first phase of Musheireb, referred to as the the Diwan Amiri Quarter, which is currently under construction, features a combination of three major government buildings along with a heritage site, museum, cultural forum, and Eid prayer ground. The phase is scheduled for completion in 2012.

While in Munich, Eng. Issa M. Al Mohannadi, chief executive officer in Dohaland, was questioned as to whether Qatar is learning from Dubais. He said they have learned lessons from Dubai and the first speculative building model:

”Developers have to go back to the original; the regions lost their local arcitecture. We believe [we can] learn from the past; our ancesteors had no air condition[ing]. How about Masdar City in Abu Dhabi? That is a different development, far away from the city. We are right in the heart of the city; the 35-hectare site is adjacent to the Emiri Diwan and close to Doha’s cultural gem, Souq Waqif, and a business center in West Bay. Dohaland is a world downtown development for city certification and sustainability.

“I believe we are building something very unique at Musheireb. Regeneration of downtowns is very far removed from developing a geen field site, given the factors of range, of usage mix, and existing infrastructure to be considered. We have actually gone a step further using a bespoke architectural language that was created specifiycally for the project.

"The methodology employed in creating this new architectural [project] can be adapted and applied to developments anywhere in the world.”

Eng. Issa is confident the world can take clues from the new Qatari architectual language: "Regenerating urban areas is a crucial aspect of the moderniziation of metropolises around the world, but it must be done in a way that improves the overall quality of life and reduces the impact on the environment. The key is to learn from the past.”

Eng. Issa M. Al Mohannadi is also founder and chair of the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) and a board member of Qatar Academy Al-Khor. Prior to Dohaland, he has held significient positions with RAS GAS Ltd. and played a key role in setting the Ras Laffan Helium Project, LNG Venture.

More Hotels for Qatar
Dohaland’s subsidiary, Dohaland Hospitality, aims to introduce unique hotel brands to Qatar and contribute to the development of tourism and hospitality industries in the country, while achieving the best in modern hospitality standards.

Dohaland Hospitality has appointed Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to operate and manage a new luxury city center hotel and serviced apartments as part of the Musheireb project. The hotel will feature 160 luxurious guestrooms including 44 suites and 95 serviced apartments, and is set to open in 2014.
Dohaland Hospitality also signed a joint venture agreement with Premier Inn to introduce the value hotel model to Qatar through a 200-room hotel to be built at Education City, Doha, Qatar.

Dohaland goes abroad
Photo by Elisabeth Lang

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