Lusail Real Estate Development Co, an arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, expects construction of its new residential district north of the capital Doha to be completed within a decade.
Infrastructure for Lusail City, which will accommodate 200,000 people, will be in place by the third quarter of 2015. Its buildings and homes, most being constructed by outside developers, may be finished five years later, Magdy Youssef, a company director, told reporters in Doha today.
Lusail City was first announced five years ago. Rental prices for Qatari commercial and residential real estate fell 20 percent to 30 percent last year, according to property adviser DTZ Research, as new units entered the market and demand dropped following the world financial crisis.
On the development from the real estate slowdown, Youssef said: “At the moment, there is no impact.”
The population of the emirate, which became the world’s biggest producer of liquefied natural gas in the past decade, has more than doubled in six years to about 1.6 million people, according to government figures. It’s expected to grow by a further 1 million during the Lusail construction, Youssef said.
The International Monetary Fund forecasts that Qatar’s economy will expand 19 percent this year, faster than any other country.
Youssef spoke as representatives of the Federation Internationale de Football Association toured Qatar to evaluate the country’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament.
Lusail’s infrastructure will cost $7.4 billion. A total of 75 percent of the city’s land has been sold to developers so far, Youssef said.
The district will include 37 square kilometers (14 square miles) of residences, offices and hotels, as well as three marinas and an offshore island with 500 villas, Youssef said.
Lusail plans to develop four high-rises in the centre of the city, Youssef said. Work on one of the towers, which will have 55 floors, will begin next year.
Citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council countries can own properties in Lusail, while others can lease them for 99 years, Youssef said.
Lusail Real Estate is part of Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co, the development arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.