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Monday, July 26, 2021

New Kempinski to open Dec. 1, restarting alcohol sales on Pearl-Qatar

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The Marsa Malaz Kempinski hotel on the Pearl is set to take its first guests from Dec. 1, signaling a return of alcohol sales to the island in some capacity, three years after a ban was first imposed.

The Alfardan-owned hotel will have 281 rooms, including 73 suites with 24-hour butler service, as well as meeting-conference facilities and an 1,100 sqm Grand Ballroom.

Leisure facilities will include a 150m private beach with a cafe and pool bar, outdoor swimming pools, water sports facilities, a tennis court, yacht jetties and a Clarins spa.

The spa, hair salons for men and women and spa cafe are not scheduled to open until the first quarter of 2015, according to the hotel’s website.

Soft launch

For the first few months, only a few of the hotel’s 11 bars, cafes and restaurants will be open, including Arabic family restaurant Sawa, European-style Cafe Murano and Bohemia bar, with the rest set to open early in 2015.

These include a roof-top nightclub; Levant-inspired restaurant; Spanish tapas restaurant; Toro Toro, which will provide Latin American fare; an Italian restaurant; and a branch of Japanese eatery Nozomi, which is based in Knightsbridge, London.

Construction of the long-awaited five-star hotel, built on a man-made island next to Qanat Qartier, appears to be on schedule, as the hotel previously said it would open in 2015.

Alcohol ban

The Four Seasons was also set to open its second Doha hotel on the Pearl, but it said last year that plans for the project had been put on hold.

It did not explain why building on its Porto Arabia site had halted, but the announcement followed a ban imposed on selling alcohol across all eating and drinking establishments on the Pearl in December 2011.

Previously, 12 0f 15 restaurants on the island sold alcohol before they were ordered to go dry. The directive had initially been touted as a temporary decision, but the ban remains today.

After it was imposed, many restaurants complained of falling revenues, while some big names including Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant, closed down.

Thoughts?

Note: This article was updated to correctly state that the hotel will have 11 cafes, bars and restaurants.

35 COMMENTS

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Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago

Should make the traffic congestion so much better than before……oh wait…..there is still only one road….

brorick
brorick
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

its kinda funny that the best way TO the hotel, you have to take a U-turn which is one lane. Thursday and Friday nights are going to be fun!

I think this hotel is going to be a winner, because getting home from it would take so much effort that you may as well sleep at the hotel!

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  brorick

At least now the poor folk who live on the Pearl and don’t have the 2 hours in their day necessary to pop up the road to West Bay can now finally get a drink to help them soothe their jet-ski addled nerves.

The Pearl residents are a textbook definition of a “captive market”.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Well after driving for an hour to get in the pearl from katara you will need a drink and then another hour to get off if the taxi even makes it there.

Nah, I think I’ll pass

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Thank you, this place will do better without you.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

Always please to make a fellow human happy.

brorick
brorick
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I think its clever, they just tell you to sleep there rather than go home 😉

DEEM
DEEM
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Actually last few days the traffic has been OK.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago

rejoice for there is booz

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

AHAHAH! This is hilarious! The Pearl had lost visitors, it looks like an abandoned town….they hope with this hotel to rise the % of commerce in the area, otherwise they will continue loosing the profit of their shops. Good that people boycotted!

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

Contrary to what a lot of people were trying to get us to believe, alcohol on the Pearl DID make a difference to people.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Keep digging, if a juice stall started selling alcohol, it would probably end up being the most popular spot in town, won’t change the fact it’s not profitable or good without it; You’re not wrong, but you’re not entirely right, the’ve replaced the expat vice of alcohol with the non-alcoholic youth vice of cruising around and seemingly not thinking of others, in the meantime, it takes 3 years for a coffee shop to open in the retail space, alcohol just masked the attraction problem

DB
DB
6 years ago

This has to be a record for the fastest construction in Doha’s history. A year ago there was nothing there.

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  DB

They have building this for a least 2 years. Probably 3 in total.

brorick
brorick
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

did they not stop building it for a while? im sure I went past a few times and the cranes hadnt been touched

Helene
Helene
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

10 years that they started !!!!!

DEEM
DEEM
6 years ago

No…. you don’t need to U-turn…. Take the last exit off Ferrari roundabout…. the last one before the road out that is…. then right, then follow the service road past QQ… slight left at the end, and its right ahead of you. Come off the same way.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  DEEM

Your explanation made me dizzy

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago

what time is Happy Hour?

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

Quarter past 2017.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

Well that should explain the caravan of white pathfinders and 3-series BMWs filled with expats celebrating up and down the Cornish

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

you forgot rental cars

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Yup good old Skoda

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

A bit of a strange obsession with renting here, especially when insurance is dead cheap…

Jason
Jason
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Insurance is cheap? It’s about twice what I paid in London.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  Jason

Ya 3rd party insurance is 600qr in london I’d be paying 20 times that

Jason
Jason
6 years ago

I’m happy more places are opening, but I wonder how long it will take visitors to get from the airport to the hotel?

2.5 hours if they arrive during a rush period?

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  Jason

20 minute using Karwa water taxi :)))

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago

Given time, the Peril may even begin to recover? Too late though, I fear. Investors will think more than twice.

Would be nice if QDC would give it another go?

Canadian Observer
Canadian Observer
6 years ago
Reply to  Myrddin

QDC would be there in a heartbeat. They were shut down. They can only go where they are allowed to be.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago

Interesting that the pictures up top are still artist renderings. The hotel opening date is supposedly only a few weeks away, but are they ready? There’s one photo in the article, but it’s nowhere near as fantastical as the drawings. Somewhere in the construction process the round Austin Powers randy love boat bed was transformed into your standard boring square hotel bed. How disappointing. I bet the square one doesn’t even rotate. How much disappointment lies in the real life versions of the other five drawings?

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

1 december ! which year ?

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

2022?

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago

The whole issue of alcohol v no alcohol is just ludicrous. Alcohol is on sale across Doha in countless venues, enjoyed by all nationalities. I would suggest consistency rather than petulant Wasta waving except it’s not my country. Meanwhile the residents of the Pearl who enjoy alcohol are marooned, hemmed in by traffic, their only relief being a lengthy trip to the licensed legal liquor store to stock up and drink at home. Sad really.

Masboro
Masboro
6 years ago

With alcohol being available in the hotel the rest of the restaurants on the Pearl will only struggle to survive even more. The Pearl could, and should, be a ‘must see’ attraction in the Middle East, but until some fundamental issues are addressed it will continue to realise only a fraction of its true potential.

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