The first phase of the Msheireb Downtown Doha project will finish within two months, Msheireb Properties chief executive officer said.
Abdullah Hassan al-Mehshadi said the first phase consists of Diwan Ameri Quarter, heritage buildings, mosque, amenities and key infrastructures such as district cooling plants, substations and service corridors.
When asked why this phase was not completed at its earlier announced date of December last year, he denied that there was a delay.
"There was no delay; there was only snagging and attempting commissioning. The substantial completion was achieved on time, but we had to do some fine-tuning and some very thorough checking.
"The MDD project is a complex project; rectification of some parts requires a lot of resources and at times special resources such as high scaffolding material among others. Anyhow, we are targeting completion within the next two months. It's already substantially complete," he added.
The Phase 1B and Phase 1C consist of offices, town houses, apartments, amenities, hotel, civil buildings, school, cultural center and mosque. The designs of both these phases are complete, while around 21% construction of each of them is also done.
Al-Mehshadi said that Phase II, III and IV were slightly running behind at the moment. "The project is running parallel with four different phases. First phase is close to completion. The second, third and fourth are slightly running behind.
"It was done in a staggered way so that we can do Phase I; test it and then commission it. Then the same with II, III and IV, and so on."
He said the overall progress of the entire project was around 40%. "We are forecasting completion of the major MDD components at somewhere around 2016, when the majority of the project should be completed and available to the public."
The CEO also said that Msheireb Properties is to start taking orders now and would announce its plans in detail at the ongoing Cityscape Qatar. "Everybody can visit us at our leasing centre at the Tornoda Tower to get more information. Our sales campaign will also start very soon, which we expect it to launch by end of 2014 or early 2015."
When asked whether there were plans to expand MDD and perhaps taker over existing buildings in its surrounding areas in the near future, he said: "I don't have an answer to that question. So far, Msheireb Properties has been mandated and given responsibility to regenerate only in the area where we are working. I know there are some activities of taking back the ownership of the land in the surrounding areas, but we have not been mandated or even told what will be the plan of those areas."
Also, Msheireb Properties will be the developer and also the operator at MDD. "We develop; we construct; we commission; we hand over and we keep track of delivering services to the client. This would ensure that the quality standards are maintained."
About plans beyond 2016, he said that Msheireb Properties is not a single project company. "We have a number projects in the pipeline. We are evaluating those options and we will get involved in a project that is feasible for us. So far our focus is on Qatar only because this is where we are needed the most. I don't think this is the right time for our company to expand itself outside of Qatar."