By Shane McGinley
The 8km long Barwa Commercial Avenue will also include Qatar's first Chinese Dragon Mart
The first phase of Qatar’s 8km long Barwa Commercial Avenue
is set to open in March 2012 and will include ‘Dragon Mart’, which will be the
first Chinese retail offering in the emirate.
Described as one of the longest single retail strip
development in the world, the first phase – known as Sayer – will cover an area
of 265,000 square metres.
With Sayer due to open in March next year, the entire
project is due to be completed in the second half of 2012, Saad Dehaim Al
Dosari, chairman of Barwa Commercial Avenue (BCA) told Doha-based Gulf Times.
Located along Muntazah Road, in Doha's Ain Khaled district,
Sayer will provide businesses with 172,000 square metres of leasable space, of
which 51 percent will be dedicated to retail space.
"In such a short space of time, Sayer has secured
leasing agreements with major local, regional and international businesses.
Sayer is also set to introduce new concepts to the Qatari market, like
"Dragon Mart", which will be Qatar's first market with offerings from
China," Al Dosari said.
The Dragon Mart concept has already proved popular in Dubai,
where operator Nakheel said in August it was planning to more than double the
size of the store.
At 1.2km long, Dragon Mart in Dubai is already the largest
trading centre for Chinese products outside mainland China, with more than
2,800 stores – many of which offer discounted products.
The Qatar version is expected to operate in a similar way
with discounted electronics, building materials, and household items.
The BCA project will feature five major low-rise buildings,
which are expected to accommodate up to 24,000 residents.
Comprising five distinct, the mixed use project is being
developed by Barwa Real Estate and is due to be connected to the proposed Doha
Metro rail network.