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Friday, March 5, 2021

HIA opening clears one hurdle for Convention Center Tower construction

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A rendering of the Doha Convention Center Tower.
A rendering of the Doha Convention Center Tower.

After being on hold for more than a year, the Qatari Diar is said to be close to restarting construction of the country’s tallest skyscraper.

Work on the Doha Convention Center Tower was halted in early 2012 amid concerns that the 112-story structure would obstruct planes from taking off and landing at the airport.

Last year marked the second delay on the 550-meter project, which is slated to be the second-tallest tower in the world after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

 Doha Convention Center Tower

The Peninsula previously reported that the planned tower would no longer be a hazard to aircraft once planes start flying in and out of the new Hamad International Airport. HIA launched cargo operations this week and is now slated for a soft launch for passenger service in January.

Information directory Marhaba said earlier this week that completion of the delayed new airport prompted officials to resume construction on the Doha Convention Center Tower.

However, no visible activity could be observed when Doha News visited the site on Monday afternoon. Located directly south of City Center Mall, the triangular eastern edge of the development site consists of a three-story pit with concrete cylindrical pilings emerging from the ground.

Doha Convention Center

To the west, a three-story underground concrete structure is visible, bridging the gap between the site of the planned tower and the under-construction Doha Exhibition and Convention Center that was supposed to be completed this past February.

The Qatari Diar has said that once the project is finished, the new 90,000-square-meter downtown meeting and trade show facility would contain parking for 5,000 vehicles. Additionally, it would connect to Sheraton Park (also still in the construction phase) and the Corniche via an underground tunnel.

Timeline unclear

No one from the Qatari Diar Real Estate Co., part of the Qatar Investment Authority, was available to speak to Doha News by phone or at the project’s onsite office.

However, a professional involved with the project said that while there was talk of restarting construction, the tower still needed multiple approvals before work could resume, and that laborers were unlikely to return to the site for several weeks at the earliest.

He added that it would take at least five years to build the skyscraper, which would contain a mix of office space, residential units and a hotel.

The Doha Convention Center Tower was initially scheduled to be completed in 2012.

Last year, TradeArabia reported that Diar’s Lusail Real Estate Development Co. ran a pre-qualification process for construction firms interested in bidding on the US$1.5 billion project.

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