Qatar is to build a 4 billion-riyal ($1.1 billion) city with state-of-the-art amenities to house up to 50,000 labourers as the Gulf Arab state looks to improve their living conditions, which have often been criticised by rights groups.
The city, built over 1.8 square kilometres on the outskirts of the capital Doha, will include mosques, playgrounds, cinemas, a mall, motel, sports centre, healthcare facilities, and a police and fire station, Qatari daily Gulf Times reported on Sunday.
Barwa Real Estate Company has teamed up with four other Qatari firms on the project, setting up a shareholding firm Barwa Al Baraha to oversee its development, according to the newspaper.
"This [the city] is our way of recognising labourers who are an essential part in building this country," said Barwa Al Baraha Executive President Ibrahim Yousef Fakhroo, quoted Gulf Times.
"We are not saying we will be able to solve the housing crisis in Qatar entirely through such an initiative. But our leadership has given us clear instructions to provide quality housing to labourers, which has very few parallels in the whole world."
The city will include 64 four-storey buildings for worker accommodation. Each building will have around 130 rooms, with each room able to accommodate six people.
Fakhroo said the size of the rooms would give every person 4.25 square metres of living space, which he said was "well above the accepted international standards".
The project will be built over two phases, with work on major amenities, including worker accommodation, set to begin next month.
The project is scheduled for completion by mid-2010.