Today, a night-time image of the West Bay central business district is often used to illustrate Doha, with the skyline dominated by the distinctive Doha Tower, which glows different colours, along with the iconic Tornado Tower. But it was not long ago that this area was still sand.

Buildings in the area comprise a mix of commercial, hotel and residential developments. Many state-owned companies have their headquarters or offices there, including Qatar Petroleum, telecoms provider Ooredoo and the Qatar Exchange.

More than $1.7bn-worth of schemes have been completed in the West Bay area in the past decade, and about $750m-worth are due for award in the coming two years, according to regional projects tracker MEED Projects.

Eight of the 10 tallest buildings in Qatar are in the West Bay area. This includes the Barjeel Tower, (also known as the Wind Tower or Al-Fardan), completed in late 2009. The $137m tower is 254 metres tall. It is followed by Palm Towers 1 and 2, both 246 metres high and completed in 2011.

The area will be served by the Doha Metro and the national rail networks.

Office occupancy rates have been declining of late in the West Bay area due to increased supply.