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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Pearl-Qatar to expand offerings with new entertainment center in 2015

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Medina Centrale
Medina Centrale

An entertainment center, gym, children’s spa and a string of eateries are set to open in The Pearl-Qatar in the coming year, as part of a strategy to expand the number of dining and recreational options on the man-made island.

The plan comes as the island’s developer also predicts an almost four-fold increase in the number of residents by 2018, raising questions about the ability of the infrastructure to cope with the extra people and traffic.

Pearl-Qatar cinema
Pearl-Qatar cinema

The focus of the new development will be in Medina Centrale, dubbed the “town center” of the island for its high street and mini-mall.

In 2014, this area saw Novo Cinemas and a Spinneys supermarket open in the summer after considerable delays, as well as a few eateries.

One of the highlights of the new development will be a 6,000 square meter family entertainment center called Megapolis.

The facility will include indoor golf, snooker, billiards and darts, an arcade and gaming machines and an “active sports zone,” the island’s developer UDC said in a statement to Doha News.

Run by Qatari company Palma Hospitality, which UDC signed a contract with in March 2014, the site will also feature five eating options – Saladworks, Earl of Sandwich, Cool de Sac, Camille’s Ice Cream and Mister Pizza.

Other new shops and restaurants set to open in the district include Mediterranean-inspired La Casa 28 and Debs W Reman, which will serve Levantine cuisine. Coffee chain Mokarabia is also set to open its doors, alongside seafood restaurant Sammach, Ziryab Arabic restaurant and a German Doner Kebab outlet.

Additionally, other facilities expected to open “soon” include:

  • Little Princess children’s spa;
  • Big Bear Choppers biker cafe and showroom;
  • Strong Box gym;
  • Magrabi opticians; and
  • Foot Care Center.

UDC spokesman Roger Dagher told Doha News that most of the new Medina Centrale outlets were planned to open by the end of September 2015.

Other openings

Meanwhile across the road, residents of the pastel-colored apartments in the Qanat Qartier district will be cheered to hear they will finally get some amenities.

Qanat Qartier
Qanat Qartier

A convenience store, coffee shops and “other services outlets” are planned to open in the area by the middle of the year, Dagher told Doha News.

However there is still no news of an opening date for the adjacent Marsa Malaz Kempinski hotel.

It was set to welcome its first guests on December 1, but failed to open as planned and its operators have refused to give a reason for the delay.

Construction machinery and workers were busy on the site throughout December. Hotel officials did not reply to a request for an update on progress.

The opening of the new outlets and facilities is part of an overall push to complete construction on the Pearl and boost uptake of apartments and houses.

Since the first residents and retail outlets opened on the island in 2009, the population has grown fairly slowly and there are now 12,000 people currently living there.

Rise in residents

But the operator is predicting a massive increase in the number of residents in the coming four years, to 45,000 people by the end of 2018, Dagher told Qatar Tribune.

Pearl Qatar
Pearl Qatar

This is broadly in line with earlier predictions by UDC. In June this year, at the annual Citiscape expo, company officials estimated that while 12,250 apartments, houses and villas were already built on the island, only 3,500-4,000 were actually occupied.

It forecast an uptake of around 1,000 units each quarter in the forthcoming years, saying that by 2018, all 18,831 of its residential units would be complete.

The upsurge in new residents and visitors may not be entirely welcome news for those already living on the island, who have already expressed their concerns about increasing traffic congestion.

Backups on the island’s roads, and particularly at its sole entry and exit point, cause headaches for many existing residents who say the issue causes safety and security problems.

Pearl resident, Susan Sullivan, previously told Doha News:

“The amount of traffic is horrendous, the concerns of residents about having to get off The Pearl for various reasons such as an emergency or with flights to catch are genuine.”

Whereas you could allow at the most an hour to get to the airport, on a weekend you would have missed your flight. As for emergencies, for the emergency services to get on The Pearl at rush hour, it just wouldn’t happen.

UDC has already ruled out building additional access and egress points for the island, despite appeals from residents to do something to ease the traffic gridlock.

Thoughts?

Note: This article was edited to correctly reflect the name of the entertainment center

45 COMMENTS

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MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Even if they opened a QDC I wouldn’t move there. Oh, yes they tried that one and then shut it down…..

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

You have expressed that opinion awful amount of times, do we have psychological issues here?

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

no just drinking ones

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

If they open the QDC again out there then the guys from the Industrial area might want to move in over there as it will make it easier for them to get to their worksites from there and also they can be closer to the distribution station

Gabriella
Gabriella
6 years ago

This is all very wonderful but still we have motorbikes and cars racing every thirsday and Friday night, the noise is overwhelming during the week less so only hundreds of cars cruising around and around

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  Gabriella

Where are they racing? They are speed cams every where.

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

Like the echo :)))

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  Gabriella

Where are they racing? There are speed cams every where.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Gabriella

Where are they racing? There are speed cams every where.

Masboro
Masboro
6 years ago
Reply to  Gabriella

There are only speed cameras on the main road, the rest of the Pearl is a ‘playground’ for those people who wish to show just how loud and fast their vehicles are with the security totally powerless to do anything.

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago

should not be allowed to happen before the chronic access issues are resolved – – does someone have to die first ! ?

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

The high is expected to be completed by 2017, so why not?

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

highway*

Wanderer
Wanderer
6 years ago

The developers must be green with envy when they see the success of the Jumeriah Beach Residence and Marina in Dubai.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Wanderer

Nah.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Wanderer

i agree nothing like Iranian and Russian money being laundered

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  Wanderer

ahahahaha AMEN!

StrongBox
StrongBox
6 years ago

StrongBox gym – http://www.strongboxqatar.com – opening January in Medina Centrale. Group classes and home to CrossFit Quwwa Qatar’s original CrossFit gym.

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago
Reply to  StrongBox

10 fast food outlets for every gym wont address the chronic eating issues of Qatar!

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

What does fast food outlets have to do with a gym opening soon,
One issue at a time sweetie

Bo
Bo
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

I’ll eat my dumbbell the day its the other way round.
Not sure that playing with the ratio of fast food outlets to gyms will help address eating issues – that one’s down to the education of children AND parents. Reducing the ease of delivery might help though – especially as the congestion at the pearl means no one would be able to get to Macdonalds…

Ibrahim Abdulrahman
Ibrahim Abdulrahman
6 years ago

The name of the family entertainment center is “Megapolis” not Metropolis.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago

Hi Ibrahim, hmm. All the literature we received from UDC regarding the entertainment center says “Metropolis.” Perhaps Megapolis is something different at the Pearl?

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

Actually, you are right. UDC clarified they were mistaken. Thanks for pointing this out – it’s been corrected now!

KK
KK
6 years ago

UDC go and have a look in Dubai (the walk) and learn your business.

Calpurnia
Calpurnia
6 years ago

Eateries, eateries, and a children’s spa! Is it a joke? There is thousand of families with young children living at the Pearl, and not any decent park, any library, any nursery, any medical center! It is a shame.
Moreover, if we want to cross the roads from Porto Arabia to Medina Central, or to Qanat Beach, it is a real nightmare. There is only one crosswalk, very dangerous with these huge roads to cross, the roaming vehicules, and the pedestrian islands in the middle of the road so tiny that a stroller can hardly stand… And the green light of the pedestrian light is so short, that we have to run not to be smashed by a car… Young children, pregnant women, old people included… but I suppose Pearl is only for the young couples…

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Calpurnia

there needs to be health clinics, day care and more stuff like barber shops and dry cleaners… so stupid they don’t have them

Masboro
Masboro
6 years ago
Reply to  Calpurnia

Trust me it isn’t just for ‘young couples’. There are people of all ages who live in our Tower and, generally, it is a good place to live, but with a more ‘commercial’ approach it could be fantastic. Having said that, with the ongoing traffic issues, the empty shops and apartments suits us just fine!

Guest
Guest
6 years ago

Most of the people who moved in the last 12-18 months to the Pearl were warned by everyone about the horrible life there. Website articles, Facebook posts, discussion with their friends and colleagues, etc. Wherever you go, you hear that the Pearl is very overpriced and is not a good place to live in. No shops, no laundries, no barbers, nothing. And yet, some expats still want to go there, because they want to show their friends and family pictures of the luxurious and successful life they are living in. It makes you look special to say “I live in the Pearl”. That’s it. Well if that is the case then please do not complain. You knew from the start about all this.

Bo
Bo
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Horrible place?
I think its a wonderful place to live. It HAS plenty of shops, launderette, barber shop – and ANYTHING i have needed so far an easily walkable distance away that i wouldn’t normally get at a mall or supermarket.
Not sure why you would go out of your way to post a “told-you-so” post, but hey-ho.
The only really issue i have found is the traffic – but as soon as i get out of the pearl in the morning i then hit traffic at every junction leading through and out of city centre too – incidentally the junction improvements going on at Katara are causing the majority of the delays at the Pearl. Yes the infrastructure could be improved and more residents will certainly cause more traffic – but opening the north bridge will ease some of this and the junction is currently being improved anyway.
Expensive – Yes

Busy – Yes
Infrastructure being improved – Yes
Horrible life – Not in my opinion

Julian Biddulph
Julian Biddulph
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

I cannot speak for all, but for myself and my family taking a walk is impossible in Doha unless you live on the Pearl. Yes it’s not perfect but at least you can cross the road or go for a run without the fear of someone driving down the pavement (sidewalk).
This lifestyle of the café culture you find on the Pearl makes the Pearl what it is, that is why most expats want to live there, not so they can show their friends what a fantastic lifestyle they live or for the vanity of saying “I live on the Pearl.”
Sorry to disagree but it is what it is.

DEEM
DEEM
6 years ago

Getting sick of having this conversation…. But hey-ho.
Overpriced – wrong. I’m paying less here than I was at Ezdan.
No pharmacy – wrong… There are two.
No laundry or dry cleaners – wrong. On Porto Arabia.
No parks for kids- wrong, there are three that I know of.
No way to cross the road- they are building an underpass as we speak
Traffic bottle neck – point taken, but it improves every week
No alcohol…. And?????
and finally…
Plagued by boy racers and jet skis- greatly reduced over what it was…over on QQ we don’t hear anything at all.

It’s a good place to live, and betting better all the time.

R.D.H
R.D.H
6 years ago
Reply to  DEEM

I agree, living on the pearl is great and since katara roundabout stopped letting people enter katara from there, traffic has greatly improved. It’s always the same people with the negative comments about the pearl anyway, after all there aren’t many commenters on here!

Calpurnia
Calpurnia
6 years ago
Reply to  DEEM

There is no decent parks for kids: the first one is very small, near tower 1, and a relay-antenna was installed there, which is just fine for our little one. The second one is near Medina Centrale, and is a small island surrounded by huge motorways, with no fences… And where is the third one? Is that what we can call “park”?
But an effort was made from september to december, with a lot of activities for children on Porto Arabia every weekends. Infortunately, it is finished now.
The conception of the Porto Arabia itself is insane: 31 towers surrounded by a huge motoway, so almost any resident is disturbed by noise… We need cycle lanes – there will be some in the renovated industrial area! Why not in the Pearl?
But ok, it is still the largest pedestrian area in the Qatar. But a lot could be better!
As said Cerebus who commented another article: “For a country with the highest GDP per capita, life here is just not what it should be.”

Pete
Pete
6 years ago

A Children’s Spa?…..seriously!

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Pete

their are dog SPAs don’t see why not children SPAs.. I won’t even take my kids, but if their are douches out there willing to cough up money to pamper their kids… then good for the business owner who came up with the idea…

Susan
Susan
6 years ago
Reply to  Pete

Train them young so the next generation of Kim Kardashians and Doha divas can be completely superficial and self-absorbed by the time they’re tweens.

Bo
Bo
6 years ago

The seemingly endless traffic congestion (i.e. not just rush hour) could be vastly reduced if it wasn’t a magnet for young persons to “court” in their cars. I don’t understand the appeal crawling up and down – windows down, chatting between cars – before a quick show of “peacocking” once the conversation is over by accelerating/racing as fast as possible to the next roundabout or car of interest. This generation needs to show some decisive maturity and park up and enjoy the facilities the pearl has to offer, rather than drive recklessly up and down a residential and retail area.
Don’t get me wrong, parking up and enjoying the facilities would still result in traffic problems, but as a resident i would be far happier that the pearl was a safer place to live and busy, with the facilities being used appropriately. Should this generation not take this initiative, then i believe that stopping this would also help some of the traffic issues.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

The Entertainment Centre will be sited at the checkpoint to occupy those waiting to access the island.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

and even with more people to come there will be only one road exit. How can they enlarge, if wise to understand this is needed, when 2 towers are been constructed right at the sides???

sicti
sicti
6 years ago

How much is a 1BR in Pearl nowadays (rent)?

Mohamed Fayek
Mohamed Fayek
6 years ago

in this huge island there is not foot ball, basket ball or any sports courts for residents to share.

in much smaller private compounds they are available, how did they miss this?

Roadsafetyguy
Roadsafetyguy
6 years ago

The dangerous and noisy driving in the The Pearl is a huge problem. As someone who has investigated many fatal crashes I can tell you that when you get young men driving powerful cars so recklessly so often then it is just a matter of time before a fatality occures. To change this situation the underlying problems need to be addressed. Given the long list of infringements that these drivers seem to already have, clearly there are no negative consequences for driving dangerously. A tactic in the Pearl would be to regulate more comprehensively access by these vehicles. Noisy vehicles should be turned away. Those previously identified as high risk should not be allowed to enter. If security doesnt have the power to do this then they should get the assistance of the Traffic Police. In my experience the most powerful method of controlling this type of driver is vehicle confiscation. There is an immediate effect on the driver as he stands on the side of the road looking at the space where his vehilce used to be.

Fitness21
Fitness21
6 years ago

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other for commercial.

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yousef
yousef
6 years ago

Qataries always play DUMB when faced with such facts of their permeative nature.

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