The Pearl-Qatar, the US $2.5 billion island being reclaimed offshore the Qatari capital of Doha, will be an iconic asset for the country, according to its Development Director.
Addressing the Cityscape 2004 property investment and development event in Dubai, Nick Bashkiroff said that the island, Qatar’s first international real estate project, offered global investors a “first-mover opportunity into the richest per capita country in the Arabic world.”
Bashkiroff added that the Arabian real estate market is now “capturing growing attention locally, regionally and internationally.”
Cityscape delegates heard that The Pearl-Qatar is differentiated from other Arabian Gulf real estate projects by a number of factors, most notably by its true freehold offering.
“The freehold status of The Pearl-Qatar properties is now enshrined in an Emiri decree, which in itself marks a sea-change on the regional real estate scene,” explained Bashkiroff.
He added that The Pearl-Qatar’s brand essence of the ‘Riviera Arabia’ also set the project apart.
“We are the Riviera Arabia and everything we do will reflect that. We intend island residents to be part of Arabia’s Med set,” he said.
Delegates heard how The Pearl-Qatar’s developer and promoter, United Development Company (UDC), Qatar’s largest private sector shareholding company, intends to deliver “the Arabian Gulf’s most glamorous address for investors and residents” of which 30,000 are expected by 2009.
“It will be an international yachting hub, a relaxing tourism haven and an upscale regional shopping and leisure centre,” added Bashkiroff.
“It’s just 10 minutes away from Doha International Airport - just a drive away from downtown Doha via our Grand Cruz eight-lane highway. It is, if you like, a very cosmopolitan island - so near to the capital, yet in ambience, so far,” he explained.
Bashkiroff reported strong individual and institutional investor interest in the project’s first sales phase - a mix of fashionable penthouses and luxury apartments in seven towers on Porto Arabia, the island’s main harbour. The towers also feature elegant connecting town homes. Properties in three towers were reserved within 24 hours of going on sale.
“These first investors, unless in for a premium-only return, will be moving into their Pearl-Qatar homes in late 2006/early 2007,” said Bashkiroff. “And, though work on the remaining nine districts of the project will be continuing, there will be minimal disturbance as this first phase will be a fully self-contained community.”