Qatar has the potential to become a leading retail destination in the region based on the amount of space that will be available in the market, Msheireb Properties CEO Abdulla Hassan al-Mehshadi has said in an interview with Oxford Business Group (OBG).
“Retailers will have to balance luxury-based retail with demand in order to strike the proper balance. International retailers remain interested in Qatar as they recognise the importance of the local market. We have witnessed strong demand and will be announcing tenants shortly,” al-Mehshadi said.
His sentiments on Qatar’s retail market mirror the findings released by DTZ in its latest study, “Q2 2016 Qatar Market Report”, which said over 1.3mn sqm of retail space is currently in various stages of construction and is scheduled to open by 2019.
DTZ said this represents a 220% increase on current supply and “will have a major impact on the dynamics of the retail market in Qatar if completed as planned”.
“Upcoming retail developments such as Mall of Qatar, Doha Mall and Doha Festival City have been able to secure a number of international brands at premium rents to those paid in existing malls.
However, DTZ understands that competition between developers for tenants has increased in recent months due to the quantity of retail space that will be available,” the report added.
Al-Mehshadi also addressed the company’s approach to sustainable and environment-friendly projects that reflect the objectives of Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030.
He said Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD) is poised to be a global leader in sustainable development projects.
“The MDD was built on the concept of sustainability in line with QNV 2030, and the project will have one of the highest concentrations of LEED-certified sustainable buildings in the region, making it the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project.
“With a 32% energy reduction goal, all buildings are targeting LEED Gold certification, with some targeting LEED Platinum. Streets within Msheireb are oriented to capture cool breeze from the Gulf and shade most pedestrian routes from the hot sun,” he said.
Al-Mehshadi noted that the buildings are amassed to shade one another and are light-coloured to reduce cooling requirements.
“Abundant solar energy captured through photovoltaic solar panels and solar hot-water panels on rooftops will be used to generate electricity and hot water for buildings. Efficient irrigation systems and planting species native to the region, and adapted to survive in dry conditions, will reduce landscape irrigation requirements.
“Integration with Doha’s new Metro, and a safe and convenient public realm, will encourage both cycling and walking. Placing of cars and service delivery vehicles underground at several basement levels will ensure a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere,” he told OBG.
Abdulla Hassan al-Mehshadi: Msheireb Properties CEO