Another stretch of shops and residences in Doha’s oldest business district, Musheireb, has been given eviction notice as part of the phased demolition of the area.
The deadline ends tomorrow (June 7).
The businesses and residents, however, say the notice by the utility corporation, Kahramaa, is “too sudden and too short” as it was handed out on June 2 with a deadline of less than even a week.
“We have seen the other side of the Akai roundabout go down and knew that we were next but this notice came out of nowhere and is too short for a business to be moved,” a tailor told Gulf Times yesterday.
Around 25-30 shops, including textile and tailoring businesses, restaurants, electronic outlets, on Jilmoud Street that intersects Abdullah Bin Thani Street at Akai roundabout face the eviction. Upper levels of the buildings are low-end flats almost all housed by single male bachelors from South Asia and North Africa who share rooms.
The electricity on the other end of Jilmoud Street starting from Jasim Bin Mohammed Road (facing Souq Waqif) to Akai rounabout was cut on October 20. The actual demolition, the first of five phases until 2010, started last month after months of delays.
The densely-populated area will be cleared to give way to Dohaland’s Heart of Doha project. Dohaland is a commercial subsidiary of Qatar Foundation.
“I don’t think any one is in a position to complain. Most of the businesses and landlords were compensated a year and half ago, resulting in most shops and residences living for free at a time when rents in Qatar were at peak,” one resident of 20 years said.
“It’s just that moving out takes more than five days for sure,” he added.
Calls made to Kahramaa by panicked businesses and residents resulted in them being told – unofficially – that the date might be extended by 10 or 20 days.
“We are hoping the power is not disconnected till June 17 or June 27,” a barber said.
Some businesses also questioned where they should go until next year when, as previously promised, they would be allotted shops in the under-construction Barwa Village in Al Wakrah.
“We need to get by at least six-eight months when Barwa Village is ready. But no property owner will rent out a shop for less than a year,” a businessman said.
Work on the 450-apartment and 912-shop complex (400,000sq m) Barwa Village is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2010.
The state-backed real estate company estimated in November there would be around 2,000 cases of displacement from Musheireb. However, unofficially there are hundreds of thousands residents who live in Musheireb without actual rental contracts.
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