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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Marsa Malaz Kempinski hotel delays Pearl-Qatar opening

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Marsa Malaz Kempinski - lift lobby
Marsa Malaz Kempinski – lift lobby

Residents of The Pearl-Qatar have voiced disappointment at the delayed launch of the Marsa Malaz Kempinski hotel, which failed to open as planned yesterday, Dec. 1.

Until late last week, the five-star Alfardan-owned property, which will be the first hotel on the man-made island, was still scheduled to open on time.

Yesterday, its website was still carrying a banner counting down the hours and minutes until the expected soft opening of 3pm. The timer has since been removed.

Kempinski screenshot

A spokesman for the hotel confirmed yesterday that the launch has been postponed. When contacted by Doha News, he declined to give a reason for the delay, or a new date for when the hotel was expecting to welcome its first customers.

It is not clear what will happen to those who had already made bookings at the venue.

Within the last week, a giant bronze statue of a horse was erected just outside the hotel’s main entrance. Meanwhile, Marsa Malaz has been drumming up interest in the hotel on Twitter by featuring “sneak peek” photos of its interior:

Many Pearl residents have been anticipating the arrival of the hotel, which will signal a return of alcohol sales to the island in some capacity, three years after a ban was first imposed.

Disappointment

While some residents said they were upset about the delays, others voiced skepticism that the Dec. 1 deadline would ever have been met.

One Pearl resident, Andrea Richmond, said:

“Pity it didn’t open, but hardly a surprise. We would appreciate one real date … that means more the ten false ones.”

Others were concerned about the impending opening, wondering whether the island, which already gets congested during the evenings and on weekends, would be able to cope with the influx of extra visitors expected.

Expat Barbara Zook said:

I have just moved from the Pearl. One of the reasons was the one way in, one way out of the Pearl issue. With the addition of the Kempinski opening the increase of traffic both morning and night was a huge concern.”

Residents have already aired safety fears about regular traffic gridlock causing problems for emergency vehicles trying to get on and off the island at its sole access point.

However, lead developer United Development Co. (UDC) told Doha News last month that it did not plan to build any additional access/exit points for the Pearl.

When it does finally open, the Kempinski hotel is planning a soft launch, with only a few of its eventual 11 bars, cafes and restaurants expected to be functioning, including Arabic family restaurant Sawa, European-style Cafe Murano and Bohemia bar.

The remainder – including 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, are planned to open in early 2015.

It will also have leisure facilities such as 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.

Thoughts?

18 COMMENTS

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Catalea
Catalea
5 years ago

Another delay ? No way ! :O

Expat
Expat
5 years ago

Haha!! This is getting hilarious! I bet several leakages were found around the hotel (rooms, lobbies, etc..) after it rained that forced them to postpone the opening! I bet some contractor is in deep deep s***.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

Still waiting on their liquor licence to be approved….

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Don’t be surprised if that’s the actual reason.. I’m sure it has to do with some sort of incomplete paper work

Jaded
Jaded
5 years ago

hmm, maybe their alcohol license was missing a few signatures and stamps…

Guest2
Guest2
5 years ago

Pool bar?? They must be dreaming. Not allowed since last year.

Desert Rose
Desert Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Guest2

Beach parties have been back on for months and hotels have been serving booze by the pools for same amount of time.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
5 years ago
Reply to  Desert Rose

A beach party and cordoned off areas are technically different from serving booze by a pool. For example booze in Intercon pool gone but in Greek restaurant overlooking pool fine. Booze by W pool gone but in Wahm separated by fence fine. Booze by Marriot pool gone, in separated bar by pool fine. Booze in oktoberfest tent on the beach fine. The idea is to seperate “unwitting” users/visitors/residents from the ugly drinking culture of the rest of the world. Ie if you go into Mykonos, Wahm etc you know people will be consuming alcohol. But just going to a pool with your kids you shouldn’t have alcohol in your face. Events, cordoned areas, beach parties are a clever attempt by hotels to reclaim their lost revenue, our Qatari owners drive us very hard on profits, they have some of the best hotel returns in the world and undoubtedly propped up the rest of the regions during the downturn , largely through booze revenue. I have not doubt the Kemp issue is about alcohol, it only takes one phone call, anyone in hotels here knows that, we’ve all been threatened with deportation by “don’t you know who I am” at one time or another.

Catalea
Catalea
5 years ago
Reply to  Desert Rose

Really ?? Not at the Ritz anyways 🙁 Was there some sort of regulation that said it was okay ? or are hotels discretly and slowly doing it again… ?

Huzz
Huzz
5 years ago

Surprised at Al Fardan getting this wrong. I would have thought that a phone call to the boss HH S T A T would have secured everything.

Huzz
Huzz
5 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

I use his full title as I was told off at work for calling him Tamim. The comparison was made to the Queen of England. I was asked “would you call her Elizabeth?”. I said no we would call her Betty. 🙂

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
5 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

then she could call you Al?

Huzz
Huzz
5 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

And indeed she does.

Blue
Blue
5 years ago

…..or is it the infamous Civil Defense approval – who approve the designs but fail the build before handover.

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago

Problems with security (fire) installations seem to be the flavour of every month for delays to Qatar projects..

MarkDoha
MarkDoha
5 years ago

Cranes, scaffolding, diggers, bare concrete…it’s still a building site. This clearly wasn’t a last minute thing, there was no way it could open on 1st.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
5 years ago

1st – the Spanish restaurant will prepare Spanish food and not Latin American food. Chef Raúl Cob is from Valencia http://www.valenciaplaza.com/ver/141123/raul-cob-cocinero-cabanyal-qatar.html. I understand that for the rest of the world us Southern Europeans look all the same….however Latin America is one thing, Spain is another! Like to say that a Persian restaurant will cook North African menus!?!

2nd – on a more serious note: more and more people ending contracts at The Pearl because it takes them half an hour to leave the area in the morning to go to work!!! As usual, if you think with the soles of your shoes instead of the brain, this is what it happens: you build something and then you have to adjust because the planning was really poor!!! With the Palm next door, they could have checked some of the works done and see that this problem does not exist there.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
5 years ago

Spotted the problem. They just realised they haven’t finished the column in the foyer. It doesn’t go all the way to the ground. That’s an amazing feat of engineering, to build a column from the top down.
Either that or just crap photoshopping.

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