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Doha Festival City project begins

Construction on the US$1.6 billion Doha Festival City officially started at the beginning of this month following the appointment of the projects managers, architects and engineers.

Doha Festival City is situated 15km north of downtown Doha and will be the emirates largest retail and leisure complex.

The 433,847 sqm entertainment, retail, hospitality and commercial facility will be designed by DP Architects, with Arab Engineering Bureau (AEB) as project architects, announced Al-Futtaim Group and Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB).

MACE International is the project manager and Al-Futtaim Investment Management (AFIM) the Investment manager.

Construction of Phase One of the project started with the ground breaking for the IKEA store. Phase one is scheduled to be completed by the second half of 2012, with Phase Two scheduled for completion by 2014.

Omar Al-Futtaim, vice chairman, Al-Futtaim Group, said: "I am extremely happy that Doha Festival City broke ground in a very short period of time to become the most advanced entertainment, retail and hospitality complex in the State of Qatar."

Al-Futtaim, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), Aqar Real Estate Investment Company and a private investor are partners in this joint venture project.

QIB chairman Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al Thani said: "This joint venture agreement with the Al-Futtaim group demonstrates both parties' firm commitment to not only enhance Qatar's development, but amplify its positioning within the regional and global economy. Ultimately the agreement is in accordance with QIB's strategy to fuel the countries expansion and the State of Qatar's 2030 vision."