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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Qatar to establish ‘Al-Bayt’ cultural center in American capital

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citycenterdc

A highly anticipated, Qatar-backed development in the American capital of Washington, DC will include a cultural center run by the Gulf country when it opens next year, Qatar Foundation International has said.

The $1 billion CityCenterDC, one of the largest construction projects on the American east coast, is considered Qatar’s first major real estate investment in the US. The country became involved in the development in 2010, when the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. put up some $622 million in financing.

When completed, CityCenterDC will take up three pedestrian city blocks in downtown Washington and include two condominium buildings, two rental apartment buildings, two office buildings, a luxury hotel, a park, a plaza and an underground public parking garage.

Al-Bayt

Construction on the project began in 2011, and CityCenterDC already has a bit of the Qatari touch. According to the Washington Post, the investment made by the Qatari Diar, an extension of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, was sharia-compliant. Thus, the development will not lease to any bars, though some restaurants will be granted alcohol licenses.

This week, QFI announced that it will establish a cultural center within the 10-acre, mixed-use urban village called “Al-Bayt,” or “home.”

In a statement quoted by the Post, Maggie Mitchell Salem, executive director of the foundation, said the center was “designed to increase knowledge and understanding of Arabic language and culture in the America.”

The newspaper continues:

The foundation’s real estate adviser, Audra Cunningham, vice president at CBRE, said the cultural center would provide a little bit of everything that Qatari culture has to offer. “You will walk into that space and get very familiar with their art, their language and their cuisine,” she said.

Meanwhile, even though apartments at the development go for a whopping $2,000 to $7,700 a month, tenants are already lined up to rent, according to developer Hines Interests LP. Residents are expected to begin moving in next month, and the project should be completed early next year.

Thoughts?

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عـبـدالله الشـهواني
عـبـدالله الشـهواني
7 years ago

I am amazed by the pace of this tiny peninsula’s growth. From being the richest country on the planet to owning the most influential media network in the region, from erecting the most luxurious hotels and resorts to buying the biggest of brands the world over; the rise and rise of QATAR is mind-blowing!! They almost-own the tallest building in western Europe, Shard, and some of the most notable brands, Valentino, La Varenne, Le Royal Monceau (which is recently named official “Palace Distinction”, meaning it has been branded one of the top six hotels in the French capital), Louis Vetton; to name a few. Qatar even has its own international luxury brand now called QELA. I wish this blessed land go even further and achieve feats that no one has ever reached.

Turbohampster
Turbohampster
7 years ago

So basically everything your impressed with, involved Qatar using its gas wealth to buy stuff that other people have made!
Hardly mind-blowing!

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  Turbohampster

Is it really that hard to find something nice to say?

daveb
daveb
7 years ago
Reply to  Turbohampster

Actually it is pretty mind blowing – it’s called investment and it produces a long term sustainable income for the country and also increases influence and popular perception of Qatar and the gulf. The country also has a long term commitment investing in research or making new things, the intellectual property generated will also provide significant income over a long period

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  daveb

Actually I am more Impressed with their investments in science and education, rather than Royal family/Qatar/government, (I’m not sure who benefits from all this as the lines are blurred) purchase of shops, hotels and bits of land.

Anyway they have all this money to spend and it can’t all be spent in Qatar so it had to go somewhere. At least these are valuable assists they can sell of they need the money

عـبـدالله الشـهواني
عـبـدالله الشـهواني
7 years ago
Reply to  Turbohampster

Yes, Qatar is using its gas and natural resources wealth; so what? Any wealthy country will use its resources to further its growth and financial position in the world arena. Is there anything wrong with that? Doesn’t Switzerland use the wealth of its banks in order to invest in new investment opportunities?

Myrddin
Myrddin
7 years ago

Absolutely!

And at least Qatar endeavours to benefit its citizens as a whole, not just the tiny percentage at the top! Unlike some prominent western countries!

Fair play to the Qataris in this respect, frankly I’m jealous!

عـبـدالله الشـهواني
عـبـدالله الشـهواني
7 years ago

Qatar is now putting its feet in the heart of America and very soon, God-willing, will place itself in prominence on the US soil. People can’t escape from the rising stature of this resource-rich country which is destined to shine the brightest globally in a few year’s time. May Almighty protect the land, its people and the royal family from any harm whatsoever 🙂

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

What has God got to do with Qatar investing in America? Is he a financial advisor?

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

Will the restuarants suddenly have their alcohol licences pulled a la the Pearl for the true gulf experience…..

HalfManArmy
HalfManArmy
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Why are you always negative?

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  HalfManArmy

In this case sarcastic, not negative and obviously you haven’t read all my posts

Masboro
Masboro
7 years ago

Although I agree with the comment about alcohol at the Pearl (V Funny) I found the general ‘negative’ thrust unnecessary. By investing its wealth abroad Qatar is helping the struggling economies of the West, very much in the same way that the Western countries have done for years.
Of course this is no ‘free lunch’ as this investment is designed to gain influence in the longer term.

KK
KK
7 years ago

Here we go again, another ‘artist impression’ of another development this time on US soil; we can read these announcements in the local press every second day…

Yes, you will buy influence in the West by investing in football clubs and fashion. Thank you. I am sure you all benefit from it as well.

Frankly, i would prefer that all the money is invested in Qatar so you we can enjoy a least decent road infrastructure, have a proper business and legal framework and a proper labour market. And maybe, finish that airport first.

Vanessa
Vanessa
7 years ago

Will the underground public parking garage in CityCenterDC also have imported brown men washing cars for peanuts?

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