Qatar construction

With $130 billion worth of new developments expected to unfold over the next decade, here are some of the biggest.

The Pearl Qatar.
The Pearl Qatar.

The Pearl Qatar

Mixed-use development

MEP contractor: Consel

Main contractor: Joannou & Paraskevaides Group

Due to complete: 2009

The Pearl is a man-made island covering 4km² of reclaimed offshore land 20 km north of the central business district of Qatar's capital, Doha. It is the country's first international real estate venture and will comprise ten different themed districts that will include beachfront villas, townhouses, luxury apartments and penthouses, five-star hotels, marinas, schools and restaurants, plus retail outlets.

The main infrastructure package is priced at US $412 million (QAR1.5 billion) and the MEP works are being carried out by Consel. "The main infrastructure work should be finished by 2008," says Panayiotis Deliyiannis, contracts manager, Consel. "The biggest part of the MEP works in the project has to be the chilled water network in terms of both cost and man-hours." The company will also be installing the sewage and potable water stations plus 11kV substations. A district cooling plant will be supplied by Qatar Cool, while other MEP infrastructure work will be carried out by J&P International. "Everything is going to plan so far. The only problem is co-ordinating the large numbers of different contractors," adds Deliyiannis.

When fully complete, the island will be home to 40,000 residents and will have a capacity for 800 tourists in its three five-star hotels. The three marinas will offer mooring for 700 boats.

Lagoon Plaza

Residential development

MEP contractor: Al Seal Contracting and Trading Company

Main contractor: Al Seal Contracting and Trading Company

Due to complete: 2008

Lagoon Plaza is a twin-tower complex overlooking the Arabian Gulf in Doha. The complex will contain entertainment facilities such as cinemas, shopping centres and fun parks, plus over 34 floors of residential apartments. The project occupies a total area of 262,000 m², with the towers reaching to 168m in height.

"The total cost of the MEP services is not yet known, but there is a lot of emphasis on value engineering," stresses Emad Khader, mechanical manager, Al Seal Contracting and Trading Company. "We are trying to reduce the costs, but at the same time provide a high quality overall. For example, we are the first project in Qatar to be using AVS pre-insulated pipes in the air conditioning system."

The MEP works for the project will include the fire systems, air conditioning, drainage and water supply. "The most costly of the MEP services is the water supply, with the most timely being the fire. Overall the project is going well, other than the obvious difficulty of co-ordinating all the services, which is normal in any project of this kind," adds Khader.

Science and Technology Park

Research and business centre

MEP contractor: Contrack International

Main contractor: Al Darwish Engineering - Contrack International joint venture

Due to complete: 2007

This free-zone will be a hub for research and commercialisation. It will provide infrastructure and services for organisations involved in the development and application of technology. Offices and laboratory space will be provided, as will access to the universities of Education City. Already EADS, ExxonMobil, Microsoft, Shell and Total have announced that they will be joining the Science and Technology Park.

Tenants will be provided with state-of-the-art operational services including high bandwidth internet connections, internet-protocol telephony and advanced security. The project will also provide professional business and technology support services - such as human resource, legal, accounting and marketing - delivered either internally or by third parties.

Dubai Towers

Mixed-use development

MEP contractor: Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises

Main contractor: Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises - Al Jaber Engineering joint venture

Due to complete: 2010

Situated in the West Bay district of Doha, the US $272 million (QAR 990 million) project is a 445m-high tower designed by Hazel Wong, architect of the Emirates Towers in Dubai.

The building will be divided into five functional areas: hotel, furnished and unfurnished apartments, offices and a shopping mall. Twenty floors will be taken up by office space, with a further 60 being put aside for residential use. The five-star hotel will house 230 rooms; there will also be a health club and numerous restaurants, plus conferencing amenities.

"The scope of the MEP works includes everything other than the actual building," says Harit Niar, senior quantity surveyor, Al Habtoor Engineering. "We have not yet confirmed a contractor for the MEP works but are looking into a number of companies. The wet works should commence in June, with the installation of power starting around six months later."

Sales of the apartments are due to commence from November 2007 and the complex is due for completion by mid-2010.

Al Waab City

Mixed-use development

MEP contractor: Cansult Maunsell

Main contractor: Cansult Maunsell

Due to complete: 2009

Al Waab City is a 1.4 million m² project located 10km from the Corniche in Doha. It will integrate a number of housing types, offices, retail outlets, health facilities and a five-star hotel. The 2,100 residential units will house 10,000 people and the project is expected to have the lowest density ratios of any of the new developments in the area.

"The estimated budget of the MEP works is US $461 million (QAR1.6 billion)," says Nick Regos, senior project manager, Cansult. "We will be using district cooling to reduce site energy consumption and will be installing smart city technology to bring value-added IT services to the tenants."

The scope of the MEP works will include hvac, bms, lighting, power, central cooling systems, high voltage networks, smart city communications and IT. "The biggest part of the MEP works has to be the district cooling network," adds Regos. "The only difficulty we have had with the project was the phasing of the infrastructure, which was overcome by scheduling major parts of works."

The project will include Barahat Al Waab, Doha's first urban piazza, which will include outdoor cafes, restaurants and street vendors with the intention of giving the development a European feel.

Other developments


Lusail is a US $5 billion (QAR18 billion) real estate project incorporating Energy City. The project will comprise residential buildings, offices, hotels, recreation and entertainment centres and retail space. It will cover 35 km² along 8.5km of shoreline and will eventually accommodate 200,000 people.

Energy City

The US $1.6 billion (QAR5.8 billion) Energy City development will act as a hub for the energy industry in Qatar. The project will bring together elements of the Middle East's oil and gas industry with real estate projects such as hotels, exhibition halls and residential and commercial property.

Cultural Village

The 1km² Doha development will feature theatres, an amphitheatre, libraries, art galleries, a heritage centre and museums.

The idea behind the development is to educate people about traditional Arabic lifestyles. It may also be used as a conference centre.

The Museum of Islamic Arts

The museum will be completed by the end of 2007 and will be located offshore, with access being by a single pedestrian bridge. It will be used as an educational institution and research centre and will house the Qatar national collection of Islamic art.

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