As Qatar’s economy progresses and diversifies, there are ample opportunities provided for growth and investment. In addition to the construction and expansion projects related to the Asian Games in 2006, several other major developments are currently planned. There are several hotel projects under construction, including the Four Seasons, and Holiday Inn, which are due for completion in 2004, the Marriott Courtyard, Renaissance, Shangri La, and Rotana Hotel which are due for 2006.
The new international airport, estimated at a construction cost of QR18 billion, is earmarked for completion in 2007. The new green-field airport will be situated 4km east of the existing one. An extensive upgrade to the airport’s Duty Free Shop by 2006 will make it one of the largest duty free outlets in the world. Further Qatar Airways is building its route network to at least 60 destinations by 2005 and are set to double its fleet over the next two years - introducing A380s, additional A320s, A300s and A330s.
The arts and culture sector is getting a real boost with the establishment of the Museum of Islamic Art scheduled for completion in 2006. When completed, this will be the largest museum of its kind in the world and will be situated on a man-made island with access by both land and sea. Rare exhibits currently on display at the Qatar National Museum will be housed in the new facility. Currently under construction and planned for completion in 2005 is the Qatar National Library, a 13-floor high-rise providing a pleasing research and reading environment.
Education City is being developed by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, a non-profit organization established in 1995 by His Highness the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Misneed. Education City is a major educational and cultural development in Qatar housing some of the world’s finest academic institutions on a 7-million square-metre site and is set to position Doha as a key centre for the advancement of the people of Qatar and other Gulf states.
Scheduled for completion in 2008, Education City is already flourishing and providing world -class educational facilities from kindergarten through junior and secondary levels to internationally recognized graduate and post-graduate studies and research programmes. Education City will include world-class facilities covering business, community development, science, information technology, Islamic studies, media and communications, sports facilities, and a 350-bed teaching hospital.
In November 2000, Qatar successfully won the bid to host the 15th Asian Games in 2006. The State has since been putting relentless efforts into organizing a sporting event of such magnitude. The Doha Asian Games Organising Committee (DAGOC) was created by the Government to manage the event.
As part of Qatar’s infrastructural obligations for hosting the Asian Games, it has begun construction of the ‘Asian Games City,’ that will provide additional sporting facilities and accommodation for athletes and officials. There will be over 30 sports facilities in place to accommodate the Games in Doha. Existing facilities are being renovated and refurbished concurrently with new ones being built. There are currently 14 stadiums in Doha. The highly equipped, new sports facilities under construction are scheduled for completion in 2005 for the West Asian Games, which will also be held in Doha.
The development of the Sports Museum and the Moto Grand Prix track will be completed this year to stage the first Moto Grandprix in the Middle East.
Beyond the ample opportunities is also the proposed Pearl of the Gulf Island development in eastern Qatar. Construction plans call for the creation of a 366 hectare (ha) island immediately east of the West Bay shoreline and about 20 km north of the Doha central business district. A causeway would be constructed to connect the man-made island to the mainland. Facilities would include villas and multi-family residential quarters, hotels, retail shopping areas and restaurants, entertainment and recreational facilities, schools, mosques, community centres and parks. The shape of the island includes three large coves with an island in the middle of each. There will be opportunities for non-Qatari's to invest in properties on the island. Also a master plan is under construction to build a Causeway that will connect Qatar to Bahrain.
The above mentioned projects are part of the ongoing development of Qatar, already offering many investment opportunities. Stay tuned for all that is to come.