By Courtney Trenwith
Place Vendome will be built across 800,000 square metres of beach-front land at Lusail City
A Parisian-inspired mixed use development promising “unrivalled luxury” was launched in Doha on Tuesday.
Place Vendome will be built across 800,000 square metres of beachfront land at Lusail City, Qatar's new hub about 11 kilometres north of the Doha city centre and the location of the stadium that is planned to host the opening and closing ceremonies when Qatar hosts the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
At a cost of QAR5bn ($1.37bn), it will include two five-star hotels, serviced apartments, entertainment and up to 400 retail outlets, including an exclusive zone dedicated to “the most elite brands”, the company behind the project, United Developers, a consortium of Qatari investors from the retail, real estate, construction and contracting industries, said.
Plans include a canal running through the development to the sea.
Place Vendome is inspired by the Parisian district of the same name and will be similar to Paris' high-end shopping street Rue de la Paix, the company said.
“The development will be a ground breaking example of the entrepreneurship, vision and energy,” a United Developers statement says.
“The architecture is intended to radiate luxury and extravagance while conveying a touch of cultural and artistic feel.”
Lusail City, developed by Qatar Diar Real Estate Development Fund, is a 38 square kilometre area with four man-made islands and 19 multi-purpose districts.
It is expected to accommodate 200,000 residents, 170,000 employees and 80,000 visitors when it is completed. A final completion date for the multi-phased project has not been announced.
When will Qatar remember that they are not (and actively do not want to be) Dubai? The reality is that few people choose to visit the country on vacation and only a handful of expats can endure living there for longer than 12 months. The building of extravagant shopping malls is not what people need. Having worked and lived in Doha for a while what is required is "good quality" coupled with "value"... Qataris understandably much prefer to decamp to London to go shopping rather than stay at home to buy high-end goods. Just go The Pearl and witness how little high-end shops are visited even now, the place is like the dead zone with only the odd window shopper. I understand that Qatar has aspirations, but there does need to be a bit of a reality check at some point or else this will be yet another white elephant to add to the ever growing herd (and one can only imagine how much worse things will be if the World Cup is taken away).