Currently under development by the United Development Company (UDC), Qatar’s largest private sector shareholding company, the $420m project will see a man-made island at West Bay spread over an area of more than 3.25 million square metres.
Set 20 kilometres north of Doha, it will be connected to the mainland by a bridge. It also represents the first opportunity for non-Qataris to invest in property within the country.
The project will be implemented in four phases comprising 10 distinct districts, which were originally earmarked to be complete in five years. It will feature beachfront villas, town homes, luxury apartments, five-star hotels, marinas, and schools as well as well as retail areas and restaurants.
So far the financial slowdown appears to have had little effect on the project.
According to Nasser Karazzi, project manager onsite with Lebanon-based Dar al-Handasah (Shair& Partners), which is working as consultant on the Pearl there has been no noticeable slowdown in construction.
‘We have not been feeling any symptoms here, but we have no pressure to finish,’ he said. ‘But Qatar is different from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. They are facing a slowdown. Here it feels normal. We are completing phase one of the Pearl and it should be finished by mid-2010.’
Karazzi said a number of aspects of phase one are currently being finalised, with retail units and a number of marina berths open. ‘It is progressing well,’ he said. ‘The Pearl is a massive project, let’s not forget that. It cannot be completed in one phase. We have completed a major part of phase one and we have phases two, three and four underway.’
When complete, the Pearl will have added 40 kilometres of coastline to Qatar and will be called the ‘Arabian Riviera’ after the Mediterranean offerings of Italy and France. The design currently calls for three marinas with mooring for 1,004 boats.
The Pearl will contain 10 themed districts including; Porto Arabia, which saw the unveiling of UDC’s first completed residential tower in June, Viva Bahriyah, Costa Malaz, Isola Dana, The Quartiers, La Plage Villas, Bhari Villas and The Grand Cruz.
Cyprus-based Joannou & Paraskevaides was awarded a $275m contract, which covers the infrastructure for the entire Pearl Island project, in late 2006.
Wednesday, September 9- 2009 @ 15:40 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.