Al Wa’ab City Development: Qatar’s plan for economic success.

December 5, 2017 in Infrastructure

The Al Wa’ab City is one of the largest privately-held real estate projects in Qatar. The city has been strategically planted in the heart of the Al Wa’ab area and it will bring thriving new residencies to Doha. Doha is the most populous location in Qatar, and it is the State’s fastest growing city, with over 50% of the nation’s population living in it or around it. The development is highly necessary for this expansive community.

The Al Wa’ab development is a part of the Nasser Bin Khaled (NBK) business empire. NBK has expanded significantly under Sheikh Nawaf Nasser Bin Khaled Al-Thani’s administration, and is now the country’s leading business conglomerate across a variety of industries. This includes, but is not limited to: automotive, construction, oil & gas, telecommunication, agriculture, civil engineering, real estate, consultancy, and hospitality industries.

NBK hope that the city will provide a diverse mix of neighbourhoods within a lively community. It is the first family oriented city planned for Qatar, and will blend traditional Arabian cultures with practical modern lifestyles. The low-rise, low-density development is strategically bordered by Salwa Road and Al Bustan Road (main arterial roads), a planned metro network, and Doha’s premium schools.

The development will accommodate 8,000 people in over 2,000 homes, ranging from luxurious villas to simple modern apartments. There is over 100,000 square metres of retail space and 200,000 square metres of office accommodation – all spread over 1.25million square metres, a mixture of infrastructure, and 10,700 off-road parking spaces. The compound blueprints include a lively boulevard, animated public spaces, community courtyards, and a good range of hospitality, retail, and leisure offerings.

Sheikh Nawaf, Chairman of Al Wa’ab City, has been following the legacy of Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani throughout the construction. Everything from culture to economic progress has been carefully planned by Mr. Thani to uphold the previous Sheikh’s vision.

Speaking to the Business Year, the chairman said:

“Al Wa’ab City offers a 360-degree living experience empowering the desire to live, work, experience and grow”

“The concept of Al Wa’ab City is in line with the great vision laid forth by H. H. the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani for the country’s development and for high quality of living in Qatar. Guided by our heritage, our own vision of positive development is bringing long term value to our community. Our commitment to uphold our culture, combined with the aim of improving lifestyles, will ensure Al Wa’ab City transforms regional horizons and social connections while founding viable futures for all our residents and partners”

The project is making substantial progress. 3,000 people have been employed by Al Wa’ab City across construction, design and management roles. Hill International have just won a project management contract for Al Wa’ab’s Central District; this work is known as “phase 1”. Sheikha Hanadi explained this part of the development as ‘Barahat Al Waab- an urban piazza hosting an array of facilities.

The three-year contract has been valued at approximately QAR 14.6 million. The area is partially-constructed; once complete, it will consist of a 1.4-kilometer walk-through spine with retail and residential buildings on the peripheries, a commercial building at the southwest corner, a four-star hotel at its center, and a parking sub-basement.

“Al Wa’ab City will offer existing and new Doha residents outstanding living accommodations,” said Mohammed Al Rais, Regional President (Middle East) for Hill’s Project Management Group.

He is “extremely proud to be part of this impressive development.”

According to The Peninsular, the Central District will be completed by 2019.

Al Wa’ab is going up at a pertinent time. Qatar is growing in both economy and in population, and the Al Wa’ab City build is synonymous with both of these variables: it will be providing housing for thousands more citizens, and it will help Qatar increase their economic growth. The project Chairman elaborated on this. He told the Business Year:

“With Qatar’s economy showing excellent growth year after year, I’m happy to say that we expect all areas of our business to post strong numbers in the foreseeable future. With planned increases in the population of the skilled expatriate workforce, I see plenty of business opportunities all around”

“Real estate and construction are expected to be strong performers, thanks to the many building and infrastructure projects [such as Al Wa’ab City] in the pipeline. And with Qatar Tourism Authority taking steps to enhance Brand Qatar on the world stage, I believe many new opportunities will open up in the travel and tourism sector very soon.”

Qatar has been determined to diversify its oil heavy economy for several years. High Quality living conditions in Al Wa’ab City will generate a great deal of interest amongst modern families and businesses: a strategic economic turn into property, retail and education sectors. Sheikh Nawaf said:

“Going into the future, NBK’s ambitions remain firmly rooted in the non-oil and gas sectors. We are very happy to be leading the charge toward a diversified, knowledge-based Qatari economy that our leaders have envisioned.”

The Chairman added:

“Our diversified business portfolio is representative of exactly what the government has been trying to achieve…”

The government have implemented the ‘Vision 2030’ plan for the State of Qatar to have a sustainable economy and great standard of living by 2030. Hence, up until the year 2030, development in both the public and private sectors will focus on human development, social development, economic development and environmental development. The chairman said:

“At NBK, we have made it our long-term mission to identify opportunities and capitalize on them. In addition to maximizing our profitability, this strategy [Vision 2030] also gives us a diversified portfolio that is better able to withstand market fluctuations in different industries. Strong growth in one area of the economy inevitably drives growth in other industries. Our presence in a variety of markets allows us to keep a close eye on the pulse of the economy and to make better business decisions as an organization…”

“…Under the wise leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar has been set upon a course of growth and progress. Qatar National Vision 2030 unites us all with a common purpose and hope for the future of our nation. At NBK, every important decision we take for the future is held up to the National Vision 2030 before being implemented. By the very act of enterprise, we contribute to the economic pillar of the vision. Having always been a people and society centric organization, our philosophy is naturally aligned with the social and human development pillars”

The environmental impact of the city has also been considered throughout the project. For example, the public metro will help reduce fuel consumption overall. Many people can take one journey together rather than multiple car trips alone. Speaking on this topic, NBK’s Chairman said:

“NBK has always been very conscientious about leaving a happy, healthy planet for future generations, which is also the environmental development pillar of QNV 2030. The values of NBK Holding have always been deeply rooted in Qatari society and culture. Even as we continue to expand our operations and grow as an organization toward 2030 and beyond, this key facet of our identity will always remain true.”

As the city sparks excitement amongst potential business partners and future residents, the company have reflected on their role in Qatar. Sheikh Nawaf said:

“From the very outset, NBK Holding has been as much about supporting Qatari society as it has been about business and entrepreneurship. I believe that this, more than anything else, has been responsible for our long-term success. We have capitalized efficiently on our business advantages, too. We had the first-mover advantage in many of the industries we entered because NBK’s corporate leadership has made it a priority to spot opportunities early and foray into new markets. Then there’s the fact that the NBK brand has always been recognized for outstanding customer service across all subsidiaries. Even today, we understand that our future successes will only be possible with the support of the people and the loyalty of our Qatari and expatriate clientele. That’s why we continue to make it a corporate priority to support the people, in particular the youth of the nation.”

It is apparent that the up and coming build fits into a bigger picture of Qatar’s growth. Other modern, family friendly and economically viable developments are under construction across the nation, in a substantial effort to generate money from property and retail. Final words from Sheikh Hanadi Bin Nasser Al Thani suitably summarize the positive impact of Al Wa’ab. The Sheikh said:

“Al Wa’ab City is not just a unique residential development, but an engine of business and community growth. We are delighted to share with everyone our exciting plans to create a vibrant central district with a prestigious mall, a world renowned hotel and a myriad of residential units that will cater for a variety of tastes and budgets. Al Wa’ab City will also house educational and medical facilities that will further enrich the sense of place and community. I am very eager to share with you the exciting news about the upcoming business and finance partnerships on the remaining phases of Al Wa’ab City, which promises to become a unique living and business environment in the heart of Doha.”