Provision for shops in each apartment building mooted
January 31 2017 11:33 PM

Each apartment building in Qatar should have commercial space for at least one shop, the Central Municipal Council (CMC) has suggested.
At its bi-weekly session yesterday, the council lamented the steep hike in the rents of commercial space in the country due to the severe shortage of supply.
Members said the rent of a shop even on the outskirts of Doha was up to QR50,000 a month.
They said that a plan to introduce 10 commercial streets was approved four years ago but nothing has materialised so far.
Hence the council has recommended that each apartment building should be law-bound to provide space for at least one business outlet.
The advantage is that these buildings have already the required infrastructure in place, they argued.
“If, for example, we allocated commercial spaces at 1,000 apartment buildings in various areas, we get 1,000 new shops without paying extra cost for the infrastructure.
This would ultimately increase the supply and reduce the rental rates.
It will also help decongest the busy roads as these shops would be able to cater to the needs of the residents of the building,” argued CMC member Mohamed al-Khayareen.
CMC vice-chairman Hamad Lahdan al-Mohannadi praised the suggestion as practical and instrumental.
Hamad al-Ghanim, another member, suggested that the proposed commercial space to be allocated should be 10% of the total area of the apartment building.
However, CMC member Sheikhah al-Jufairi said that the implementation of such a plan would create various problems at residential areas, including crowds and lack of adequate mechanism to regulate such shops.
CMC member Jassim al-Malki recommended the formation of a committee to determine the rental rates for both commercial and residential units to curb the increasing rates.
Eventually, the suggestion was referred to the CMC Services and Utilities Committee for more studies and to issue the necessary recommendations.
The council also reviewed the recommendations of its Legal Affairs Committee regarding the organisational standards of hypermarkets and commercial shops.
These include obliging such places to provide adequate and safe parking lots to their customers as a prerequisite for securing the licence.
In addition, they should provide adequate solutions for garbage collection, and loading and storing goods without disturbing the movement of customers.
The council received yesterday a response from HE the Minister of Municipality and Environment on the development of Al Wakrah fishing port, which stressed that the Ministry in collaboration with the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has prepared a list of the necessary services and works to be done, in addition to the required financial budget for this.
A study has already been launched for developing the fishing ports in the country.

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