The Middle East is placing itself on the world map with a number of exciting and ambitious projects and Qatar, far from being left behind, is placing itself at the forefront.
The Pearl-Qatar, one of just three real estate projects to be identified as open to foreign investment, is a $2.5 billion Riviera-style manmade island, covering 400 hectares (four million sq m) of reclaimed land.
It is Qatar’s first international real estate venture, the largest real estate development in the country at the moment, and the first to offer freehold and residential rights to international investors.
It will create over 30 km of new coastline and eventually house 30,000 residents in an upscale, multi-cultural residential community. The four-phase development will have 10 distinct districts with three luxury hotels, four marinas, with combined mooring for over 700 boats, and 60,000 sq m of luxury retail and restaurant space.
The Pearl-Qatar’s developer, UDC, has issued a contractors’ prequalification tender for the execution of infrastructure work across the whole of the island and for the highrise residential towers and associated parking, townhouses and shops surrounding the main Porto Arabia marina. Dredging work is currently under way and ahead of schedule; construction of the first buildings is expected to commence in April this year, according to Khalil Al Sholy, managing director of UDC, and the completed project build-out is due for completion in 2009.
UDC was established in 1999 and is the country’s largest private sector shareholding company. The first phase of the development went on sale in the third quarter of 2004, and all seven 20-storey towers sold out immediately. The first luxury beach villas, being designed by award-winning US architects RNL International in association with KEO International, went on sale in mid-December. The ‘La Plage West’ villas will be ready for occupation by March 2007 and make up the first of three sea-view La Plage neighbourhoods which will feature some 198 villas.
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