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Abdulla Hassan Al-Mehshadi

QATAR - Real Estate & Construction

Brick by Brick

CEO, Msheireb Properties

Bio

Eng. Abdulla Hassan Al-Mehshadi is the CEO of Msheireb Properties, a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation. Alongside the Board of Directors, he is responsible for delivering Msheireb Properties’ flagship project, Msheireb Downtown Doha, the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project. He has three decades of experience within the engineering and construction industry, as well as range of respected academic achievements. He also serves as an Advisory Board Member for businesses throughout the GCC, including Stenden University Qatar, Premier Inn Doha Hotels, Time Qatar, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Doha, and a Board Director of HEC Paris Alumni.

“We have taken the initiative to develop our own architectural language which works in harmony with our country’s culture and environment.“

How does Msheireb Properties uphold its threefold approach of sustainability, modernity, and preservation of Qatari heritage within its projects?

Msheireb Properties’ vision is to be a pioneering development company that respects the environment, and takes Qatari architecture, history, and culture into consideration to create something in harmony with the landscape and heritage of the country. In the past, when Qatar first began to produce oil and gas, building designers and contractors did not take local factors such as these into consideration. However, based on Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser’s inspiring vision, we have taken the initiative to develop our own architectural language which works in harmony with our country’s culture and environment, and this is the vision that Msheireb Properties follows. We felt that our country needed to identify its own architectural language, a style that really belongs to Qatar, something that is made by us, for us. At the same time we needed to modernize designs to meet today’s needs and requirements, and take Qatar’s architectural language into the future to restore the uniqueness of Qatar’s built environment. To ensure continuity between the past and the present and create a city that brings the community together, Msheireb Properties has built modern sustainable housing which is environmentally friendly, cost effective, and in line with our architectural language.

How do you assess the current development of Msheireb Downtown Doha project?

Msheireb Downtown Doha project is divided into four different phases, and are pleased to have passed 80% of its completion. Phase Four is the last phase in development, and has been held back due to the metro station works. However, we are making good progress and have finished the public areas, trams, parks, and parking. We have also signed contracts for managing operations and maintenance of Msheireb Downtown Doha including the carpark. We have had discussions with the government about the possibility of creating our own municipal authority within Msheireb Downtown Doha as this will allow people to interact easily within our development. At this moment in time we are at the peak of our sales and leasing activities, with a lot of visitors coming to see the residential, retail, and commercial sites. Some tenants are even fitting out the buildings themselves. Other good news to share is that Qatar Financial Center (QFC) has decided to relocate to Msheireb Downtown Doha, creating a buzz with the entities that operate under QFC’s umbrella and regulations, and positioning Msheireb Downtown Doha as a leading business gateway. As a smart city, Msheireb Downtown Doha provides business entities with a better platform to offer their services and be in close proximity to clients, be it banking, legal, retail, and many others. Due to its strategic location and close proximity to others businesses, we expect that more international companies will join our project, driving forward Qatar’s economic diversification goals.

Qatar is characterized for its wide selection of retail and hospitality options. What will make Msheireb Downtown Doha differ from what is currently on offer?

Msheireb Downtown Doha is located in the heart of Doha, close to the corniche and surrounded by shops, museums, and businesses. In this sense, our location is second-to-none. In addition, the project is state-of-the-art in all senses: a smart city with a completely climate controlled environment, a great layout, and vibrant open main square, excellent five-star hotels including the first Mandarin Oriental hotel in the Middle East, high-end boutiques and stores, big offices and commercial spaces, the world’s first 10,000-space integrated underground carpark, and great restaurants and cafes to choose from. There will also be a cultural forum that will be a driver of cultural activities in Doha, and offer several entertainment and leisure facilities such as sports and wellness centers, cinemas, theaters, amphitheaters, concert spaces, and more. We are creating a dynamic lifestyle environment for living, for work, for leisure, for everyone.

How do you forecast the impact of Msheireb Downtown Doha project in the future growth of the city?

I consider Msheireb Downtown Doha will become Qatar’s epicenter, breaking down barriers that have been previously felt. It will be a dynamic city where people can interact and do business, as it has everything you could hope for as a living and working space. At the same time, this project will be a pilot for smart cities in the future. Msheireb Downtown Doha will become a real driver of transformation of Doha and the lives of its residents. Historically, Qatar has always been a place that has brought different people together. Our vision is to simply develop and enhance this for the benefit of future generations. Moreover, we have developed a blueprint that could be shared among different cities around the world. Msheireb Downtown Doha is a model, and we based our project on research about other smart city projects, and believe that Msheireb Downtown Doha could be a reference point for similar projects around the world. Furthermore, we see Msheireb Downtown Doha as a continual development, as we will keep improving the city.

What are your expectations for 2017?

We expect Msheireb Downtown Doha to open in 2017. We are currently working to attract people and businesses to the project’s residential, commercial, and retail areas. We have tested the market and opened Msheireb Downtown Doha’s museums and public spaces to visitors. The project is gaining attention in Qatar for its uniqueness and the transformative effect that it will have on the city. With Msheireb Downtown Doha coming to life this year, our ambitions are limitless. Once the development is fully completed in mid-2018, the project will be able to compete on a global level. After that, we will look to develop properties in the north of Doha and outside the capital. We always target excellence; therefore, we are selective with the projects we go for. We have big aims and plan to expand our operations outside of Qatar.

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