ADIH announces Qatar’s US$500m Entertainment City
Abu Dhabi Investment House (ADIH) has announced its commitment to the development of Qatar’s burgeoning economy, fuelled by a focus on cross-sector, specialist tourism, with a multi-billion dollar project in the country’s new Lusail development, according to Rashad Janahi, CEO of ADIH.
He confirmed an initial investment of US$500million in a mixed-use theme park, under the working name of ‘Entertainment City’: “We are delighted to confirm that this development, which we have been conceptualising for some time, is set to go ahead.
“I can also say that investor interest in this project has been buoyant before we even start.”
Mr Janahi explained that investment opportunities still exist within the initial private placement of some 50,000 shares.
He said: “With an expected investment return of 60 per cent it is no surprise there has already been a great deal of pre-launch interest in this project.”
Mr Janahi acknowledged that Doha’s fledgling entertainment sector has made some rapid growth in recent years, already attracting over two million visitors to the country, annually.
He said: “Entertainment City will add momentum to Qatar’s tourism boom and will significantly increase the country’s attraction to visitors, in addition to significantly increasing the hotel room stock.
”A year ago, Qatar offered 2,600 bedrooms, whereas by the end of 2007 there will be 11,000. Entertainment City is set to increase this to by a further third to almost 15,000 rooms in 2009,” Mr Janahi predicted.
Entertainment City will cover one million square metres of land, running alongside a one kilometre-long beachfront, in the Lusail area, a 35 square kilometre northern expansion of the capital, Doha. Entertainment City is set to be the anchor development for the entire Lusail project
Nearby, is Doha Golf Course and Qatar Energy City, already attracting professional and leisure traffic.
Entertainment City is designed to be a mix of hospitality, leisure and recreational facilities, with complementary commercial and residential components. The destination will offer spectacular theme parks, themed hotels, speciality shopping, fine dining restaurants, cinemas, a theatre and alternative entertainment components.
Mr Janahi confirmed the wide appeal of the project master plan: “Entertainment City is designed to attract broad demographic profiles, from children, to young adults, to business incentive groups.
“It (Entertainment City) will be a fusion of traditional Arabic hospitality and contemporary leisure lifestyles. Sub-themes will revive legends surrounding the area’s famous traders and seafarers, ancient Arabic castles, forts, cities and forgotten kingdoms,” he explained.
Various attractions within the Entertainment City ‘communities’ will include a family entertainment centre; water theme park; family natural attractions; a Cineplex; theatre plus a bowling alley, among others.
All segments of Entertainment City are open to investors: “In accordance with local legislation, GCC citizens can own property outright, with 99 year leases available for foreigners,” Janahi concluded.