The majority of residents in Al Wakrah feel life in the rapidly growing township on the southern outskirts of Doha is generally “serene and laid-back”.
Al Wakrah is a municipality in Qatar bordering Doha in the north, Al Rayyan in the northwest, Jariyan al Batnah in west and south as well as Mesaieed in southeast.
According to a source, the Wakrah village was founded by the al-Khater family in the 12th century.
A major plan to give the town an architectural face-lift was charted out by the authorities early in the last decade and work on the major projects started in 2008.
The most prominent features of the plan was to develop a beach, a sports city, a major hospital, as well as building the city centre and expand the town to the south by adding new buildings, which should be able to accommodate hundreds of thousands of people.
To fulfil most of the plans, especially on increasing the number of buildings, major real estate developer Ezdan was given the project and they had since embarked on ambitious programmes, constructing block after block of buildings comprising of villas and family apartments, making the city more attractive to the growing number of residents.
Besides Ezdan, a number of compound apartments owned by other developers have been added to the burgeoning town.
Residential units in Wakrah are considerably cheaper than those in Doha.
In recent times, there has been a “migration” of people from Doha and Rayyan to Wakrah given the wide availability of accommodation at lower rents.
Despite having to commute to Doha for work everyday, a good number of people who spoke to Gulf Times said that the satisfactory living conditions and quiet environment in Wakrah were plus points.
“The building of new roads, particularly the expansion of the Ras Abu Aboud road providing a multi-lane connection to the Corniche from Wakrah road, has made access to the main areas of Doha easier,” a daily commuter said.
The residents of the town have access to most of the basic government services, including those of the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Interior’s border, passport and expatriates affairs, Civil Defence (fire brigade), the police as well as that of health centres.
Wakrah Hospital, boasting of an over 300-bed healthcare capacity, is also ready to be commissioned any time now.
“It’s been a very mixed experience for me since I moved to Wakrah a little over a year ago,” another resident said. “In terms of living environment and commuting within the town, one can say it is very okay. There is no traffic jam or hold-up like what we experience in Doha.
“Rents are lower than Doha and all basic amenities are available.”
Another resident said that everything is easily accessible.
“I don’t have to come to Doha to shop for most of the food items as there are a number of big supermarkets in the town as well as a fish market near the Wakrah beach. Also, the health centre meets most of my family’s needs,” he noted.
On the other hand, living in Wakrah can be challenging, especially for those whose workplaces are based beyond Doha or Messaieed.
One resident explained: “When you work far from where you live and especially if your children attend school in Doha, this will mean additional expenses as you will most likely have to engage the services of a private pick-up/drop-off driver on a monthly basis.
“It is even more difficult if one needs to make up to three trips in a day to Doha for important tasks.”
In terms of accessibility to education, most of the residents still send their children to schools in Doha as most of the schools in Wakrah are Independent schools, save for two Indian schools – Shantiniketan Indian in Barwa village and the Bhavans Public School.
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