Qatar’s Public Works Authority (Ashghal) today has announced new details about the future Doha Zoo, after signing a $63 (QR230) million contract with an architectural and engineering firm to prepare detailed plans for a new facility.
The price tag for the new facility is higher than the previously announced $55 million, and will be paid to KEO International Consultants, who will serve as the project’s design and construction supervision consultant.
The company will work with HHCP+PJA, which was hired in December 2012 to prepare the concept master plan that was unveiled today.
According to that plan, the 75-hectare facility will be seven times the size of the current 30-year-old zoo, which closed abruptly in August 2012. It will include some 3,000 animals and be constructed at the same site as the existing facility, opposite Aspire Park and Villaggio Mall.
The zoo is scheduled to open in late 2017.
According to Ashghal, the zoo will be divided into several regions themed around the natural and climatic features of three continents: An “African safari” characterized by forests and savanas, an “Asia woodland” with mountains and a South American rainforest.
Each region will be accessible through multiple safari trips by car, boat and foot, Ashghal said in a statement.
On Twitter, the company added:
More than 12500 trees will be planted in addition to the current 1000 trees in the #Doha_zoo. 70% of the area will be shaded by those trees.
— هيئة الأشغال العامة (@AshghalQatar) November 13, 2013
The zoo will also feature a two-story “discovery center” that will include small animal exhibits, a gallery for interactive exhibits and space for educational programs.
Multiple cafes and restaurants will be included on the property, including one eatery that allows guests to “have a direct encounter” with giraffes from the top level. Hotels may be included in later phases.
“The New Doha Zoo will be a prominent tourist attraction, and an important entertainment destination that attracts visitors locally and internationally,” said Nasser Ali Al Mawlawi, president of Ashghal.
In September, Ashghal floated tenders for the demolition of the existing zoo, as well as the Dream Park adjacent to the facility. Contracts have yet to be awarded for that step, a spokesman told Doha News.
It has also put out a tender for the construction of an animal containment facility off of Al Shamal Highway at the Al Zubara Interchange, but that development won’t be completed for more than a year. In the interim, all animals of the current zoo will be moved to shelters at the Rawdat Al Faras farm, Ashghal said.
While concept designs and a master plan for the new zoo have already been prepared, Al Mawlawi told reporters at a press conference today that the main construction contracts would likely be tendered toward the end of 2014, depending on how quickly the design work progresses.