By Andy Sambidge
Developer signs three deals for projects in Lusail City, sees property demand rising in Qatar
Dubai-based Damac Properties on Wednesday announced that it has awarded three construction contracts in Qatar worth more than $165m.
The contracts have been awarded to Draieh Contracting for the construction of three mixed-use residential and commercial projects within Qatar's Lusail City - Business Square, the Piazza 1 and Piazza 2.
Niall McLoughlin, senior vice president, Damac, said: "Since Qatar's successful World Cup bid, there has been a spike in enquiries about property in the capital, Doha. Momentum is building in Qatar's property sector...we are confident we will see construction rapidly accelerating at our three development sites."
Lusail is Qatar's newest planned city and is located about 15 kilometres north of Doha's city centre.
Damac has three luxury projects within the master development. Business Square is a 20-storey mixed-use tower, while the Piazza 1 and Piazza 2 are low-rise residential and office developments with an Italian design.
Interest in Qatar's property market has been boosted by both the World Cup announcement and the introduction of new regulations allowing foreigners to gain a residence permit when they purchase property.
The new ruling allows foreign home owners to substitute a sponsor's visa for five-year residency visas.
"This combination is a potent mix, which is likely to strongly influence demand for property," McLoughlin added.
Global real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle is forecasting a property boom in Qatar. It is predicting up to $14bn of growth over the next 10 years, which could see prices rise by 30 percent in the next five years and 50 percent in the years leading up to its hosting of the World Cup.
Analysts estimate Qatar will spend about $90bn over the next 11 years on housing and infrastructure.
It has already announced a raft of major infrastructure works including a new metro and light rail system, a new port, up to 65,000 new hotel rooms, new expressways, nine new football stadiums, the refurbishment of three existing stadiums and a new causeway linking Qatar with Bahrain.
McLoughlin said: "The next decade in Qatar will be a golden age of opportunity. Damac Properties is excited about being part of the country's extraordinary growth story."
Lusail City will incljude marinas, residential areas, island resorts, commercial districts, luxury shopping and leisure facilities including two golf courses and an entertainment district when completed.
State-owned Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company is the master developer of the project, which also includes 30 kilometres of waterfront.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
That project was very prematurely launched in 2006 and Damac have had 40% of customers money upfront.
We have spent 5 years waiting for them to tell us that we are not entitled to live in a place we are paying top dollar for and they have awarded themselves the main contract for what seems their first building project.
We still have lots of questions that remain unanswered.
What was the plot handover date?
Are we free to sell or would that put us in breach of contract?
What are the registration and transfer costs?
What will the management company fees be?
What does 'first preference' mean and will they use it when it suits them?
We are told nothing more than that all will be revealed on unit handover.
I am also an unfortunate investor in this project that was supposed to be completed in April of 2010. As of today, all we have is a hole in the ground.
Damac has the worst customer service ever. They take your money and then rest on it indefinetely without giving any explanation to you.
All investors in this belated project if you haven't done yet pls join our growing group of investors by sending an e-mail to piazzadamac