Doha lacks affordable real estate, retail space

Qatar capital hampered by lack of affordable real estate, top-end retail space

According to Credit Suisse Bank, the per capita income in Qatar is estimated at $10,900

According to Credit Suisse Bank, the per capita income in Qatar is estimated at $10,900

The housing market in Doha is undersupplied by as much as 40,000 units, one of the Gulf’s largest real estate consultancies has said.

With more than 142,000 residents and just 102,000 properties available, Qatar’s capital city is a profitable market for developers, said Colliers International analyst JP Grobbelaar.

“The residential sector has traditionally been undersupplied and it remains undersupplied in the overall sense,” said Grobbelaar. “The high end of the market is becoming saturated. Developers have been focusing on this area because this is where the larger profits lie.

“The truth is that the greatest demand for residential space comes from the expatriate population, which is far bigger than the local population. So as the expatriate population is growing so is demand for mid high-end properties, things like townhouses, villas and apartments. That is an area of the market which could quite lucratively be looked at by developers inside and outside of Doha.”

Qatar’s retail market is also hampered by a lack of supply, said Marwan Shehadeh, group director at Al Futtaim Capital, which is currently building Qatar’s largest mall.

Despite good purchasing power – according to Credit Suisse Bank, the per capita income in Qatar is estimated at $10,9000 – the retail market currently spans 630,000m sq of gross leasable area (GLA) against a capacity of 1,000,000 m sq.

“We believe there is a gap in the Doha market today, and a strong demand for proper, super-regional, retail and entertainment destinations,” said Shehadeh. “Qatar is currently probably the richest city in the world and yet it doesn’t have world class retail destinations.”

In the commercial sector, Doha has seen rates for A-grade office space fall by as much as 15 percent in the last year. Margins are likely to be further squeezed with the addition of another 200,000m sq of office space scheduled to come on line in 2011.

In the hospitality sector, much depends on the success of Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Currently the market is “heading for huge oversupply” according to Grobbelaar, with another 4,200 hotel rooms slated for delivery by 2012.

Average room rates in Doha have dropped 17 percent since 2009 while revenue per available room has declined by almost a third.

“I think there are still people in the country looking at investing in this direction [hospitality],” said Ayman Al Barqawi, Qatar resident director for Arabtec.

The construction firm has three ongoing projects in the country worth a combined QR4bn (about $1.09bn).

“I can’t say there isn’t oversupply because the rates are coming down but I think the market here will absorb that oversupply quite quickly. I think the country will cope with the oversupply. There is still confidence in the market,” Al Barqawi said.

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Posted by: Depressed in Doha

Doha Lack almost affordable anything. I completely agree with Bored in Qatar. Qatar suffers from some reasonably good ideas that are always very badly executed. The waterpark here is the lastest shining example of it.

The 'vision' is often talked about but nobody really knows what this is and vast governmental elements are clearly blocking the way for a lot of progress. There is limited freemarket enterprise here as most things are monopolised.

Posted by: Bored in Qatar

Quote: ?Qatar is currently probably the richest city in the world and yet it doesn?t have world class retail destinations.?

Unfortunately Qatar doesn't have any world class anything!

There is nothing for expats to do in Qatar but wander around malls or go to restaurants. Dubai builds the Atlantis world class water park at the Palm Jumeirah and Qatar builds the Aqua no-class water park in the industrial area???
Go to the Pearl Qatar and year after year there is nothing there except for overpriced restaurants and coffe shops,empty retail shops, and empty marinas.

Posted by: Glen

It certainly appears that Qatar has world class wealth and does not intend to squander it on mere consumerism. Let them grow organically providing a home for their people not a playground for the world, which ultimately leads to the problems being faced by many "Fast Developing" regions in the Middle East.

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