Construction crews have started to excavate sand and rocks from the western edge of the Souq Waqif, opposite the Msheireb Downtown Doha project, to add more capacity for vehicles carrying visitors to the popular attraction.
The new two-story underground car park will be on the site of an old surface lot at the end of Al Rayyan Road, across from the Falcon Souq.
A spokesperson for Arabian MEP Contracting, which is one of the firms working on the project, said the car park will have capacity for 819 vehicles. He added that the project is scheduled to be completed and handed over to Souq Waqif officials in May 2016.
However, it’s not clear when it will actually open to the public.
Motorists using Al Rayyan Road or Al Asmakh Street can still drop passengers off at the souq’s western entrance, but police officers had ticketed several vehicles parked on the entrance road next to the construction site late this morning.
Signs direct drivers to use the new north parking garage instead.
Earlier this year, construction crews completed a new 2,000-stall underground parking garage accessible via the Corniche and Abdullah Bin Jassim Street, which runs along the north edge of Souq Waqif.
The new lot also acts as an underground pedestrian passage connecting the traditional market to the Corniche
Shortly after it opened, however, several of the smaller surface lots elsewhere along the Souq Waqif’s perimeter closed.
Nevertheless, the new underground car parks will help to alleviate some of the traffic headaches in the area during peak hours, when surface lots in the area are frequently stretched to capacity.
The final landscaping of the under-construction west parking garage is not known. The new north lot was topped with a new outdoor park complete with grass, playground equipment benches, a refreshment stand and an outdoor amphitheater.