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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Rumaila Park to close on Saturday to make way for Grand Park project

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Rumaila Park works 1 - Elysia Windrum

One of the oldest and most popular parks in central Doha is set to close from Nov. 1 as it undergoes renovation works that are believed to be part of the Doha Grand Park project.

Al Rumaila Park, which overlooks the Corniche and is next to Qatar National Theater, will be shut to visitors for an undetermined period, just as the weather starts to cool down and more residents enjoy spending time outdoors.

The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP) announced the closure through social media, although it did not give a time frame for the planned works.

The park was a popular picnic location and had a children’s playground, several small shops and a heritage center called Cultural Village. It was also the site of a busy branch of Thai Smile takeaway, which has now closed down, an employee of the Umm Ghuwailina outlet told Doha News.

Grand Park plans

The Rumaila construction appears to be connected to the large-scale Doha Grand Park project, which involves redeveloping a stretch of land from the Qatar Sports Club down to Al Rayyan Road, to create an urban green space similar to New York’s Central Park or Hyde Park in London.

The Grand Park project was apparently shelved two years ago, as insiders said there was a lack of consensus about design details, and a decision to prioritize Qatar’s numerous, ongoing infrastructure projects.

However, a source close to the project told Doha News this week that it was indeed going ahead.

He added that the plans have changed from their initial design, and development is slated to be rolled out in phases to minimize disruption to the surrounding areas. No timeline was mentioned.

The project’s implementation is being overseen by the Private Engineering Office, a state entity that is responsible for a number of significant development projects around Qatar, including the Al Messila hotel and spa resort on the site of Al Messila woods.

Qatar-based UrbaCon General Contracting (UCC) is believed to be responsible for designing and building the scheme, while the Doha office of KEO International was appointed as consultants when the project was first announced.

A KEO spokesman declined to talk to Doha News about the project, due to “client confidentiality agreements.”

Master plan film

However, the MMUP directed Doha News to a 10-minute YouTube video with Arabic commentary showing the master plan for the project, which features swathes of green, landscaped areas interspersed with sandy features.

According to the video, a boulevard that runs the length of the park would be used for ceremonial events, and the development would also have a museum, amphitheater, cafes and restaurants, children’s play areas, a mountain bike track and cycle rental facilities.

still from Doha Grand Park film
Video Still from Doha Grand Park film

The film also shows horse and camel riding areas and a 150-meter mast, bearing a giant Qatar flag, in addition to a five-star hotel and a cultural village, which would include interpretations of different eras of civilization such as Roman, Andalusian, Damascan and European.

Some elements of the overall design are believed to have been changed recently, although it is not clear what these are.

The new park is also expected to incorporate the Doha Metro stations, which don’t feature in this film.

There is no timeline for construction of each stage, or when the the park is scheduled for final completion.

Are you sad to say goodbye to Rumaila? Send us your photos of the place and we may run a gallery in memory of the park over the weekend.

Thoughts?

28 COMMENTS

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disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
6 years ago

That is brilliant! i’m glad Qatar is finally focusing on urban greening and foresting, this will help change the micro climate little by little in Doha! Also whats going to happen during the national day if that park is closed the crowd would be worse, they could have waited till the day after! lol

I love the idea that they’re making different cultural villages, Andalusian and Damascan but why Roman and European? its not relevant to our culture or our language. I’m not disagreeing with it, i just find it not related they could have picked different cultures that are related to arabs.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Don’t you think Andalusian culture is offensive to the Spanish after they suffered the Muslim occupation of their lands for hundreds of years?

disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Well no, it is not offensive at all since most of the knowledge and science and civilization and ways of living that was spread in Europe after that came from the Andalusian. Also at that time Al Andalus had Jewish, Christians and Muslims, no one was forced to convert to any religion until the crusaders came and forced the Jews and Muslims out. At that time Al Andalus was the most “Free” and had the more “Equality” among all countries.

So no i dont find it offensive unless you think that anyone that came from Arabs should be offended.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Your logic of argument is flawed. That is like saying the rule of the British in India was a good thing as it brought them railways, cricket and englightenment, just don’t mention the millions that died.

I sure the people of southern Spain at the time would have prefered not to have been invaded, conquered and killed or have to pay the jizya tax for not being a muslim. They were quite happy running their own lives.

disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

yeah so because of that it was okay for the crusaders to kill Muslims and Jews, behead them, and ban arabic from being spoken, and burning the biggest library in Europe at that time with 600,000 books when other countries had libraries with 500 books. because that would make the people even more happy and run their own lives even rather! your logic of the argument is also flawed.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Of course not, where did I ever say that. The Crusades were as bad as the Jihads by the various Muslim leaders of the time. Both were barbaric acts of savagery and cruelty to their fellow man in the name of religion.

disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

How about we go back to what my original comment was about. I was saying, why not take for example the Ottoman culture? or Persian culture? or something that is more related to Arabs than europeans. I’m sorry if you got offended by my comment, i’m not racist like most people in this comment section towards Qataris.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Really? The Ottomans conquered many Arab lands, do you think the Arabs at the time welcomed that? They also destroyed Christain Byzantium so I guess that is why you like them….. Persians are not Arabs and have a long culture before the current religious dictatorship assumed power.

disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

True, but that does not mean that Persians were not affected by arabs, or Ottomanians, i’m not sure you understand where i’m coming from, i’m saying related to. i didnt say best friends. and i have nothing against christanity why would i like the destruction of christians? i feel like you’re always trying to be the victim. oh poor europeans, arabs hurt you so much.

Restie
Restie
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

By the same token of logic, Castillian culture should be offensive to Jews, Muslims and Protestant Christians due to the actions and accords undertaken during the Spanish Inquisition.

I reference the Alhambra Decree, under Catholic ruling orders, which ordered the explusion of Jews. This decree last nearly 500 years, and was only recalled in the mid 1960s.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Restie

It certainly would be if it celebrated the Spanish Inquistition! The Catholics have a terrible record of Jewish persecution in Europe over the last 1000 years.

Restie
Restie
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

MIMH, there are numerous issues with your earlier comments and what you say now regarding celebrating the Spanish Inquisition.

Firstly, the ‘suffering’ under Muslim rule. Andalusia actually became a haven for a period for Jewish immigration, due to the ease in which they were able to live in comparison to other parts of Europe.

Secondly, you brought up the jizya tax earlier, but you should be aware that this tax, though higher than that for Muslims that came under zakaat, meant that you did not have to conscript and was not applied to every non-Muslim, with the exception of adult men and women, or the independently wealthy. Of course, applicability of the law varies in history.

Lastly, I mentioned Castillian culture, to make parallels to your comment about Andalusian culture being offensive, not specifically that the Spanish Inquisition being offensive or not. Under Castillian and Araganese rule, forced conversions were imposed upon hundreds of thousands of Muslims as well.

It would be as nonsensical to say that Germanic culture is offensive to the people of Roman origin due to the Vandals and the converse, but I believe you were trying to be antagonistic due to your views on organised religion, rather than actually debate the content of a park’s attraction in Doha.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Restie

Let’s be honest, southern Spain was invaded and conquered by the muslim armies, which meant they killed the local inhabitants to take control. I doubt they were very happy about this despite the so called advances and freedoms you talk about.

Using your logic the Iraqis should have been pleased with the American invasion of Iraq as they were getting rid of a dictator and giving them a better future, instead they rebelled against this invading army and wanted the Americans to leave. How ungrateful.

Restie
Restie
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

No, I still believe the logic of my statement withstands and your analogy to the Iraq war doesn’t make much sense to me.

The periods of Muslim rule in the Iberian peninsula was about 700 years. This is several generations of people. Contrary to you belief, the armies did not commit exterminate or target the local populace, during the conquer. The province flourished and Cordoba was the most prosperous city in Europe, economically, academically and culturally, with scholars of multiple ethnic and religious backgrounds participating. This would not happen under a state of constant rebellion. Also, these aren’t ‘so called’ advances and freedoms, as someone who points like to point out holes in history and logic, you should refresh your knowledge of European history.

The insurgency in the Iraq war was a direct result of an underlying sectarian conflict that had been suppressed for many years under a dictator, and ignited from A) a resultant power vacuum due to the destruction of internal security institutions and B) the post-invasion government being strongly skewed to one sect.

I fail to see the parallels to 700 years of Muslim caliphate rule in Andalusia, an area which geographically was under many different empires prior, including those of the Carthaginians and Goths and countless infighting itself.

You portray it as a timeless peaceful region that came under foreign invasion, which horribly oppressed the masses until they were forced out, when that is the furthest thing from the accepted historical truth.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Restie

Oh come on, next you will be tellin me once the Islamic state has conquered enough terrority the killing will stop and an age of Islamic peace will prevail and all people under their rule will be happy.

Just tell me that the muslim invaders were asked to come into southern Spain to help civilise them and I’ll leave you alone

Restie
Restie
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Haha, I don’t need you to leave me alone. The fact that you’ve stretched this to similarities to ISIS, have inherent inability to remain on topic, and don’t have a knowledge of history beyond a high school level and perusing the past 2 weeks worth of Daily Mail articles, means that it’s not worth responding.

disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Also if you want to be more accurate, it is the Christian’s occupation that took place, since Islam was there for 700 years and Christianity came for only 400-300 years after that. They still embrace our culture there, with our music and our architecture unlike most European countries that think arabs just came from deserts and rode camels

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

I think your knowledge of history is poor. Christanity came before Islam and was adopted throughout the Roman Empire by the Emperor Constaintine. It was only displaced in North Africa, The Levant and Southern Spain by the various Caliphates that came after Mohd that destroyed the Roman and Persian Empires after spread Arab and Muslim ideas. (People in North Africa didn’t wake up one day and abandon their own languages and start speaking Arabic for no reason…. 😉

disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

History has two sides, one christian and one Muslim, try to reading both. not everything is mentioned in European history books. Christianity was also in the Arabian peninsula at that time, is still is, look at Yemen, Kuwait, and Oman.

At that time some North Africans were Christians and in Islamic history it says most converted because Jesus was a prophet in Islam and helped the Muslims fight the moshrikeen. The prophet himself said that no harm should be done to any christian or jewish or their places of worship because they still prayed to the same god.

Your knowledge of history is also poor apparently lol

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

No not poor, I was aware that their were Christain Arabs and Jewish Arabs, in fact Mecca even had a Jewish King before Islam came and he was defeated by the Ethopians. (Can’t remember which king).
Real history has many sides, not just Christain or Muslim prespective. To use just those two sources will not lead you to the truth but just to the version various religious leaders want you to believe. Early Islam canabalised many different religions to come up with its version of history and what people believe as a matter of faith is not actually factually accurate.

disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I agree with you about the many sides of history, i was just mentioning the Iberian Peninsula’s recent history not the africa and arabs but yes it has many sides because each civilization had its own personal view of things. but how about you try to use nice words when talking about islam and religions, “Canabalised” thats really nice of you.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

I didn’t mean canabalised as in eating people, I meant it in terms of borrow from religions and faiths that pre-date Islam.

disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

you could have just said that :[ lol

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Getting back on the topic I think it is best to say the Arab pensinsular has been at the cross roads of many manjor civilisations and has been influenced by them all, from the early Romans, to the Persians and people from the Indian subcontinent so why not have a cultural village mentioning some of these influences. No culture in the world is independent of others and all have adopted ideas from neigbours over time.

disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I agree with you 100%

Peter Smith
Peter Smith
6 years ago

Any idea what will happen to the two sets of recycling bins ? Are there any other locations for recycling (other than outside the British Embassy) ?

Scousecath
Scousecath
6 years ago
Reply to  Peter Smith

Katara has many recycling bins next to the road along the beach.

hawkeye31
hawkeye31
6 years ago
Reply to  Peter Smith

There are a few in Qatar Foundation as well…

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