New island for FIFA World Cup fans

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A real estate developer in Qatar has revealed its grand plans to build a USD 5.5 billion island to house FIFA World Cup fans in 2022.
A real estate developer in Qatar revealed grand plans to build a USD 5.5 billion island to house FIFA World Cup 2022 fans. Photo-Barwa

A real estate developer, partly owned by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, revealed grand plans to build a USD 5.5 billion island off the coast of Doha, to house 25,000 FIFA World Cup 2022 fans.

The “Oryx Island” project would be developed by Qatari developer Barwa Real Estate. It is expected to feature five floating hotels, luxury villas and a water park. The project is in the conceptual phase at this time.

Abdulla al-Subaie; “We anticipate that there will be a short-term demand for hotel rooms, so maybe it is not wise to offer all these hotel rooms for only a short time. Oryx Island can accommodate 20,000 to 25,000 people. Cruise ships can be docked for one week, two weeks. It can be mobilized and demobilized for a short time.” — Abdulla al-Subaie, Barwa’s Chief Executive, speaking to media on the sidelines of Cityscape Qatar 2013, a real estate conference in Doha

Barwa is Qatar’s largest listed property developer, with properties in France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Last year, the company had also announced plans to launch a USD 4.9 billion mixed-use Golf City project in its coastal Lusail city development. The development would provide 4,000 residential units and a golf course. The developer does not plan to issue any bonds this year to finance these projects.

The demand for residences and hotel rooms in Qatar is likely to come under tremendous pressure in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup 2022 event. To meet the growing housing requirement, Qatar has dedicated 40 percent of its budget to 2016 to infrastructure projects. These projects would also allow Qatar, currently the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter, to diversify its economy and reduce reliance on income from gas exports.

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