UAE-based Al-Futtaim Group has invited contractors to prequalify for construction work on the QR6bn ($1.6bn) Doha Festival City development in Qatar.

The multi-use development will built on the northern highway, which will link Doha International airport with the proposed Bahrain causeway.

The development will include a retail centre, an entertainment park, two hotels and an auto park with car showrooms. The complex will cover a total area of 433,000 square metres. The project will be divided into three phases.

The brands that will open stores at the mall include Ikea, Marks & Spencer, Toys R Us, Ace Hardware, Intersport and other major regional retailers.

Construction is expected to start with an enabling works package by the end of the second quarter. The first retail phase scheduled for completion in 2012. The remaining two phases are expected to be completed by 2015.

The consultancy team for the project has also been appointed.

  • Design architects: DP Architects (Singapore)
  • Architect of record: Arab Engineering Bureau (local)
  • Quantity surveyor: EC Harris (UK)
  • Project manager: Mace Group (UK)
  • Architect (Ikea): Brewer Smith Brewer Gulf (UK)
  • Auto park engineer: WSP (UK)
  • Market research consultants: Portland Design Associates (UK), Coverpoint Catering Consultancy (UK)
  • Leasing and marketing: Al-Futtaim (UAE)
  • Development manager: Al-Futtaim
  • Investment management: Al-Futtaim

The mall is owned and developed by Bawabat al-Shamal, the parent company, which is supplying the land to build the project. Bawbat al-Shamal comprises of four primary shareholders: Al-Futtaim Real Estate Services, Qatar Islamic Bank, Aqar Real Estate Investment Company and a private company.

Al-Futtaim Group has been planning a multi-billion-dollar mixed-use scheme in Doha, similar to its existing $5bn Festival City shopping and residential complex in Dubai since 2009 (MEED 28:8:09).

Another shopping mall is being developed in Doha by local developer Equinox. It  has invited contractors to submit bids by 15 March for the contract to build its estimated QR1.5bn ($412m) Northgate Mall.

It will cover a total area of 417,500 square metres and includes a shopping mall and office buildings. The project is expected to take 30 months to complete.