UDC to build two towers on Pearl-Qatar

The developer behind the Pearl-Qatar has secured financing of up to 730 million Qatari riyals (Dh736.4m) to fund the construction of two towers on the man-made island.

The developer UDC said yesterday that it had signed a financial agreement with Qatar’s Commercial Bank to fund Al Mutahidah Towers, two towers of 480 apartments as well as community retail in the Pearl’s Viva Bahriya district.

UDC said that the project would be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Last month, UDC appointed Leighton Contracting to build the main construction package at Al Mutahidah Towers as part of a QR716m contract, which also included infrastructure work and new villa construction at The Pearl’s Giardino Village.

The apartments will be part of a massive development plan that is expected to eventually house 18,831 homes and 45,000 residents on the 4 million square foot artificial island on Doha’s West Bay.

“Al Mutahidah Towers are considered a key milestone in our journey of delivering real estate excellence, and in building on the successful completion of The Pearl commercial Towers this year. This works to strengthen the company’s plans to diversify its investments to meet the growing demands for The Pearl-Qatar project,” said Ibrahim Al Othman, UDC’s president and chief executive.

The Pearl is home to more than 12,000 residents, mostly in the upmarket Porto Arabia neighbourhood.

Last week, UDC announced it had sold The Pearl Office Tower 2 in the Abraj Quarter at the entrance to the Pearl for QR1.25 billion. The company did not say who had bought the tower.

The news comes as Doha’s prime housing market continues to suffer from an economic slowdown resulting from low oil prices combined with an increase in the number of new homes.

According to DTZ, rents at Pearl-Qatar have fallen by 10 per cent over the past year while sales prices, having gained more than 15 per cent between 2011 and 2015 stabilised in 2016. “At the premium end of the market, rents in the Pearl Qatar and West Bay have been impacted by the exodus of white-collar workers, many of whom left Qatar at the end of the previous school year in June,” said Johnny Archer, an associate director at DTZ.

UDC’s shares closed flat yesterday at QR20.10.