By Ed Attwood
1st phase of mixed-use project to finish 2012; IKEA, ACE and Toys 'R' Us stores confirmed.
A $1.6bn deal has been struck between three partners to build a huge entertainment and retail complex in Doha.
The UAE’s Al Futtaim – builder of Dubai Festival City – has teamed up with Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) and Qatar’s Aqar Real Estate to build the country’s largest multipurpose complex, housing a full retail centre, entertainment park and two hotels.
Construction on the 433,000 square metre project will start in early 2011, and the first retail phase scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2012. The remaining two phases will be completed by 2015.
The complex will be based on the northern highway linking the airport with the proposed Qatar-Bahrain causeway.
IKEA, ACE, Toys “R” Us, Marks & Spencer and Intersport – all of which are partners with Al Futtaim – have already confirmed that they will be tenants at the new site.
Although the project has no name as yet, an Al Futtaim spokesperson told Arabian Business that the working title of the development is Bawabat Al Shamal, after the company that is supplying the land for the complex.
“We are excited to be part of this mega venture which will be a defining moment for Qatar’s leisure, retail and entertainment industry,” said Robert Willett, group CEO of Al Futtaim.
“Our involvement symbolises Al-Futtaim’s desire to remain innovative across all markets. Al-Futtaim brings not just its fine construction and real estate development skills to this wonderful project but also its enduring vision to enhance customer experiences.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.