The development of the transportation links for Lusail City appears to be taking share, with recent announcements of separate contracts to two Malaysia-based firms for constructing roads, light-rail stations, car parks and a suspended visitors’ center and cable car.
In a statement to the Malaysian stock exchange Bursa Malaysia, construction firm WCT Holdings Bhd said it had secured a RM1.2 billion (QR1.17 billion) contract from Lusail Real Estate Development Co., as a 70:30 joint venture with Qatar-based Al Ali Projects Co.
The scope of works for the contract includes construction of the commercial boulevard, main and internal roads, utilities, five small-sized light-rail transit stations and four two-level underground car parks, according to Malaysian newspaper The Star.
All construction on the project, which is the biggest deal for the company in two years, is expected to be complete by summer 2017, WCT said.
The firm has been involved in several projects in Qatar and the Gulf previously, including the construction and maintenance for the new Ministry of Interior headquarters in Doha, worth QR1.59 billion.
It was also responsible for building the Yas Marina Yacht Club and Formula 1 circuit in Abu Dhabi, as well as a BD156 million project to build Bahrain City Center complex with a shopping mall, hotel, theme park, water park and multiplex cinema.
In a separate announcement, Eversendai Qatar said it has secured a RM269.2 million (QR263 million) for the construction of the Al Wahda Arches and visitors’ center which are part of the Lusail Expressway plans.
The QR3.5 billion project, led by public works authority Ashghal and with main contractor Hyundai, will link Doha’s business district of Dafna/West Bay with Lusail.
The 5.3 km route along Al Istiqlal Road will include four highway lanes with additional filter lanes, three large interchanges and connections with the Pearl-Qatar, Katara and Lusail City, according to Ashghal.
“Extensive artscape” along the length of the road will be a key feature, with the entire project projected for completion by mid-2017.
Describing details of its latest deal in a statement issued to the Malaysian stock exchange earlier this month, the company said:
“The Al Wahda Arches are the main segments of the Artscape works which are part of the Lusail Expressway project. It will consist of two arches with a visitors’ center suspended beneath it.”
The bigger arch will be 146.52 meters long and nearly 100 meters high while the smaller arch will span 139.84 meters in length with a maximum height of 77.56 meters.
The visitors’ center will be suspended 40 meters in the air through a system of hangars and cross-bracing cables from the arches. It will be accessed by a cable car and the entire project is scheduled to be complete by June 2016, Eversendai added.
Light rail plans
These latest contracts suggest that progress is slowly being made on the development of Lusail City, which is being built from scratch to the north of Doha and is planned to be home to 200,000 residents eventually.
At its heart will be a light rail transit system comprising four main lines extending over 30.5km overground and above ground, with 36 passenger stations.
According to online plans, a stretch of 5.5km of track will go underground to the south of the new city, serving the Marina, Energy City and Qatar Entertainment City.
A total of 24 stations at ground level are set to link up the north of the city, serving Fox Hills and Golf districts, the planned northern residential district, the medical and educational districts and Lusail’s city plaza.
However, progress on the development of many of these districts has been very slow. Currently in Fox Hills, only one residential development – The Piazza by Damac – is built. Eight years after putting down money on the properties, investors have still to have the keys to their apartments, they say.
Last summer, the lead contractor of Lusail’s under-construction light-rail transit system said that the first line will begin operating in 2018.
QDVC – a joint venture between the Qatari Diar and French infrastructure firm Vinci – said the “yellow” line would be the first to enter service, followed by the remaining three routes in 2020.