he Rydges Plaza building at al-Bida is not likely to be demolished, as per latest indications.
The hotel, however, stopped functioning from the first week of December though all the employees are still on the rolls of the holding company, which is owned by the FBQHC group, of Sheikh Faisal bin Qassem al-Thani.
The wing attached to the hotel currently houses nearly a dozen companies of the multi-interest holding company. Indications are they all will move out in the next couple of months, mostly to one of the five new towers attached to the City Center, also owned by FBQHC. The group has a total of 11 buildings coming up around City Center, including the five attached towers.
The towers, now behind schedule, are likely to be completed by June, sources indicated.
Employees of Rydges Plaza, numbering some 110, are expected to be absorbed by a new catering company to be formed by the group, it is said.
Rydges Plaza, run by the Australian Rydges group, was informally opened on December 15, 2002 at the 11-storey building that stands alone in the al-Bida area, overlooking the Doha Bay and the Corniche. Even as the 138-room building was being built around 1999-2002, there was speculation that it would be razed for security reasons.
According to the latest indications, the building would be taken over by the Ministry of Interior and handed over to one of its divisions, like Lekhwiya, for its use. However, this could not be confirmed yesterday.
The Rydges Plaza is a hotel group that started in 1988 and currently has more than 30 properties in various countries, including the UAE. A hotel official has said it is looking to expand its presence in the Middle East.
ILQ mentioned this news TWO MONTHS ago!
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