All photos via UDC
The managers of the Pearl-Qatar have announced additional details, including a scheduled spring opening date, about a new cluster of eateries and entertainment attractions on the artificial island.
According to United Development Co. (UDC), the 5,000-square-meter Megapolis will open in March. It is slated to include an arcade with high-tech video games and indoor attractions including golf, bowling, snooker, billiards, darts, karaoke and a sports zone.
Additionally, the entertainment hub in Medina Centrale will have five eating options: Saladworks, Earl of Sandwich, Cool de Sac, Camille’s Ice Cream and Mister Pizza.
The announcement comes shortly after the Marsa Malaz Kempinski hotel officially opened on the Pearl-Qatar this week, marking the first of several new dining and leisure attractions coming up on the Pearl this year.
News of Megapolis’ impending opening also comes slightly less than two years after UDC announced it was working to shift shoppers’ perceptions of the Pearl-Qatar.
In 2013, the company said it wanted people to think of the island as a “comprehensive, welcoming, flexible and balanced” place instead of a high-end, “heavily upscale” shopping hub.
Some local real estate agents have said adding amenities like an arcade, cinema and a variety of restaurants marks a turning point for the Pearl-Qatar.
In the past, much of area’s retail space was primarily supported by the island’s residents. But with a new hotel attracting out-of-town visitors as well as a host of entertainment options that are unique in Qatar, some hope that the area will become a more vibrant destination.
Others, however, note that the Pearl-Qatar already suffers from heavy vehicle congestion during peak hours. Many fear that bottlenecks in and around the island’s sole entry and exit point – currently exacerbated by lane closures related to the construction of the Lusail Expressway – will only worsen as more people start visiting as well as moving in to vacant units.
In March 2004, UDC signed a lease agreement with Qatar-based Palma Hospitality Group – which operates Damasca restaurant in Souq Waqif, among other eateries – for 7,000 square meters to develop a series of food and beverage outlets in Medina Centrale.
In addition to the Megapolis entertainment area and the first five eateries that are due to open in March, Palma Hospitality is expected to open two restaurants – La Casa 28 and Debs w Reman – as well as a coffee shop, Mokarabia, later this year.
Looking ahead, UDC said it also plans to add a 2,000-square-meter indoor sporting facility dubbed “Gymito” as well as additional retail offerings “in due time.”