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Five hotels in queue for Qatar’s airport SEZs

Qatar's special economic zones (SEZs) will see the construction of five new hotels and apartment hotels, in line with the country’s shift from a hydrocarbon-based economy and its focus on diversity

There are currently plans to build three special economic zones (SEZs) in Qatar, located at Ras Bu Fontas, near the airport; in Al Karana, south of the Industrial Area; and at Um Alhoul near Mesaieed.
There are currently plans to build three special economic zones (SEZs) in Qatar, located at Ras Bu Fontas, near the airport; in Al Karana, south of the Industrial Area; and at Um Alhoul near Mesaieed.

As Qatar focuses on moving away from hydrocarbon dependency, diversification becomes increasingly vital.

There are currently plans to build three special economic zones (SEZs) in Qatar, located at Ras Bu Fontas, near the airport; in Al Karana, south of the Industrial Area; and at Um Alhoul near Mesaieed.

Developed by Manateq, each zone will specialise in different business sectors.

Set up by the government in 2011, Manateq will also run and maintain the SEZs.

Hospitality will also play a significant role in Qatar’s diversification and, in this light, the under-construction SEZ near Hamad International Airport (HIA) will host five new hotel and apartment hotels, in line with the country’s shift from a hydrocarbon-based economy.

The Gulf Times has published tender notices outlining that, collectively, the developments will provide at least 670 rooms in three and four-star ‘dry’ facilities.

The smallest of the three economic zones is Ras Bu Fontas which, at 4.01km², will host the new hotels.

This SEZ is anticipated to become a business hub specialising in technology, business services, logistics, advanced manufacturing, and healthcare and medical devices.

According to Manateq’s website, in addition to offices, the facilities in this zone will include showrooms and retail space for duty-free shopping; hospitality (hotels); service hubs; public spaces; and allocated land for labour accommodation.

It is expected that the SEZs will attract international businesses with offers of ‘one-stop-shop’ facilities to make it easier and more attractive to set up on site.

This entails processing all authorisations, including land and building applications, company registration and licensing, securing the necessary building permits and also visa access, according to the company’s website.

Manateq is also planning to create a mini-tourism district within the zone, as suggested by the tender, offering affordable accommodation to future visitors as currently, the majority of Qatar’s hotels cater to the luxury market.

There are two separate packages on offer: The development of three ‘dry’ three or four-star rated apartment-hotels forms the first package, where the buildings will be on three separate sites – one 3,428m² another 3.945m² and the largest which will be 5,288m² in size.

Each should have a minimum of 100 apartments.

While a separate notice invites bidding for two, four-star business hotels with at least 185 guest rooms each, on sites of 7,526m² and 8,712m² .

Manateq is looking for companies that will not only design and build the hotels and apartment-hotels, but also at least partly-finance and run them.

Each of the five projects will seek separate bidders and the deadline for submission of initial applications is 8 November, the notice stated.

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