Barwa Al Baraha, a more than $1 billion development in the Industrial Area that has been under construction since 2008, has announced the completion of its first phase this week, with the opening of a truck parking lot billed to be the world’s largest.
The second phase, which involves building accommodation for some 53,000 low-income expats and employees, is now well underway, and some of its buildings will be ready in a few months, said an official of the Waseef Company, a subsidiary of Barwa Real Estate Company that is managing the project.
Speaking to the Qatar Tribune, Chief Operation Officer Hassan Jummah Al Muhannadi said:
“Work on the Barwa Al Baraha project, which will accommodate 50,000 workers in 64 buildings when fully complete, is going on in full swing. Eight of the buildings are almost complete. Each building has 132 rooms.”
He added that 32 three-floor buildings in total are expected to come online by the end of 2014, and work on the other half of the accommodations will start later. Rent is expected to be “reasonable,” though rates haven’t yet been determined, the official said.
When the entire development is completed, it will include amenities like dining and laundry services, as well as shops, a mosque, sports fields, used car showrooms and office space. A shopping center, health center and safety center with police, civil defense and fire prevention services will also be set up, according to Barwa’s website.
When the 1.8 million sqm “Worker’s City” development was first announced in 2008, Barwa called it a “tribute” to the growing expat community. At the time, its expected completion date was mid-2010, a year before Qatar implemented a ban on single men working with contracting and construction companies from living in residential areas.
Since then, companies have been complaining about the difficulty of relocating their employees due to a lack of affordable housing outside of Doha.
Meanwhile, the truck parking lot that opened yesterday was slated to be ready in 2009.
Its launch comes at a convenient time, as by the end of this month, trucks and heavy machinery will no longer be allowed to park within Doha’s city limits.
Why the Barwa Al Baraha project has been so delayed is not clear.
At Cityscape Qatar in 2012, Barwa told Doha News that the parking lot was completed. But gaining the necessary approvals from different government ministries appears to have hampered its opening. Two years ago, it also expected the housing complex to be finished by 2014.