Qatar Parks (Includes Middle East's Largest Park)

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A proposal to build a massive park in Rayyan, said to be the biggest in the Middle East, is awaiting the green signal. The proposal from the Beautification Department of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) is currently under consideration by the “higher authorities”.
The proposed park would be spread over 20 hectares, Abdul Hameed Ali Akbar Radwani, projects department manager at Ashghal’s Building Affairs, told Gulf Times.

The area is equal in size to at least 20 football pitches. Calling it “Qatar’s Hyde Park”, Radwani said it would be located on a patch of land where there were now only”a couple of houses and a mosque”.

According to the proposal, the park would have facilities including an amphitheatre, a jogging track, playgrounds, a mosque, a car park and staff accommodation.

Meanwhile, tenders are being invited for the renovation and extension of the Al Khor Park, which is more than three decades old.
The new facilities include a restaurant, birds’ cages, an animal farm, amphitheatre, museum and library, a veterinary clinic and a mosque.
Radwani said his department last year completed 51 projects worth a total of QR6bn. Seventy-three projects valued at QR5bn are under way in the medical, education, municipal, public works and other sectors.

Current major projects include the Medical Tower and Hamad Medical City, Wakrah Hospital, schools and kindergartens, Ruwais port and a multi-storey car park at West Bay.

The car park will have six levels and accommodate 1,011 cars. It is to be ready by December 2009.

Work is expected to start in two or three months at Ras Aboud on building a marina for the Coast Guard, accommodation for officers and allied services. Projects under way also include an Eid prayer hall and mosques.

Besides these, professional services agreements have been signed for 41 other projects worth a total of QR3.73bn. Another 66 projects, valued at QR4.76bn, are in the pipeline, Radwani said.

The department’s budget for 2007/08 is QR7bn, he added.

Radwani said completing the projects on time had become a major challenge because of delays caused by other service providers, problems in land acquisition and shortage of raw materials like cement, sand and asphalt.

However, the department managed to complete 60% of the projects on time and without any cost escalation, the official said.
Because of the problems, there were fewer contractors coming forward to bid for Ashghal projects, he conceded. Consequently, the department had to tender certain projects three times.

These issues had been referred to the higher authorities, Radwani said. Besides, Ashghal had signed memorandums of understanding with a number suppliers on holding the price for commodities such as steel and cement. This would “hopefully” apply to new projects, he said.

A photo of a render for Al Khor Park