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Qatar starts project to rebuild heart of Doha

25.05.2009 by Elsa Baxter 


Qatar has launched a US $5.5 billion (QAR20 billion) project called Heart of Doha to rebuilt a 350,000m2 area in the city centre.


The project, envisaged by the Emir of Qatar, HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and his wife HH Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, aims to reduce the city’s urban sprawl and includes plans for an underground city.


The first phase, which includes the demolition of existing areas and the expansion of government buildings, is already underway, an official said yesterday at the project’s official launch.


“The Heart of Doha will be a shining example of Qatar’s determination to innovate, not just for innovation’s sake, but with the end goal of improving quality of life and ensuring that heritage and culture carries on as a country grows and evolves,” said HE Dr Abdullah Al Kubaisi, vice chairman of Dohaland.


The project will be completed in five phases, the first, costing about $604 million, is being funded by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, of which Dohaland is a subsidiary.


 “Through our first project, we are recreating and regenerating the most important part of old Doha – such as Kahraba Street – the place from where the rest the city took birth and also the first street to get electricity in Qatar,” said Issa M Al Mohannadi, Dohaland CEO.


“With passing time, the area lost a lot of its rich community to migration out into other regions, leaving much of the historic neighbourhood neglected. Today, we aim to restore the lost lustre to a location that is close to our hearts, we want to bring it back to life,” he added.


Heart of Doha includes 226 buildings ranging from 3-30 storeys in height. Plans include a theatre and museum, a number of hotels and schools as well as a tram system.


“The Heart of Doha will even have an entire underground city so people can enjoy pedestrian areas and peaceful squares with minimal disruption from traffic and deliveries,” the statement said.


The project is aiming for LEED gold certification and once complete will have an estimated population of about 27,600 people.


The first phase of work is due to complete in 2012. The entire project is scheduled to be finished by 2016.


Companies undertaking the design include Allies and Morrison of the UK and Burns & McDonnell of the US.


Source: www.constructionweekonline.com

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