“Weekends at The Pearl-Qatar are always jam-packed. We always have a good turnout of high-end shoppers, business visitors or residents who just want to hang out at the boardwalk at Porto Arabia,” said Malik Qaiser Awan, general manager of the United Fashion Co., The Pearl-Qatar.
Awan said The Pearl-Qatar, especially Porto Arabia and the boardwalk, was opened to the public in November last year. “Some people have VIP passports but anybody can go.”
Around seven coffee shops opened at the Porto Arabia since it was opened to the public, said Awan, and many guests have since frequented the place. Awan said several luxury brands have already opened at The Pearl-Qatar and “by the end of this month, we are expecting around 50 shops to open.” Twenty-five to 30 stores have already opened since January this year. The Pearl hosted a VIP party-launch for Hermès on Thursday.
“A year from now, the place to shop, eat, hang out and be seen – the place to be – is The Pearl-Qatar,” said Awan. Awan said some apartments and townhouses at The Pearl are now also ready for the residents.
A three-wheeler ride inside The Pearl Qatar. Abdul basit
Spanning nearly four million square metres, the Pearl-Qatar is easily the most ambitious and one of the largest urban developments here. Dubbed as the Arabian Riviera, the island will see completion in 2012.
The QR50bn offshore, manmade island, which is the first to offer freehold and residential rights to international investors in the country, will consist approximately 16,000 homes, which include apartments and penthouses, exclusive town homes, and premier beachfront villas accommodating to approximately 41,000 residents, said an investor advisor at the United Development Company (UDC), the project developer.
Established in 1999, the UDC is one of Qatar’s largest private sector shareholding companies, actively involved in several key projects in the country and has contributed to its growth.
Located immediately east of the West Bay shoreline, the Pearl-Qatar, which has been positioned with great respect for the marine environment and topography, will be approximately 20km north of the central business district and will just be 20km from the Doha International Airport in the south.
The name “The Pearl” was chosen because the island is being built on one of Qatar’s previous major pearl diving sites. (The country was one of the major pearl traders of Asia before the Japanese introduced cheaper more affordable pearls just before Qatar’s oil boom).
The design of the Pearl-Qatar is patterned from various elements such as the Arab Maghreb, the Mediterranean and Venetian characteristics and style. It will have 13-themed districts, three five-star hotels, three luxury marinas comprising moorings for 1,004 boats, international schools, which include both primary and secondary levels, public parks, upscale retail boutiques, fine dining, nightlife, banks, medical centres, a police station, post office, hypermarkets, entertainment and social facilities, as well as a vacuum solid waste disposal and facilities for district cooling. In the later part of 2009, it will be home to 350 stores, some of them representing famous international luxury brands. Upon its completion, the island will have around two million square feet of upscale retail space.
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