Qatar’s capital city was designated as a new Urban Wonder of the World according to a worldwide poll in 2014. The prestigious Persian Gulf-gazing West Bay enclave, which is home to some of the city’s tallest skyscrapers, certainly helped Qatar’s fastest growing city earn that distinction.
Situated in the northern part of Doha, West Bay is bordered on the east and northeast by the Arabian Gulf, Onaiza to the west and enclosed by Old Salata to the south.
But if you’re looking to put down roots or invest in a property, think again: The residential properties in West Bay are not for sale. “They are mainly marketed for short-and long-term lease,” said Rochdi Boumedine of MD Properties, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Properties in West Bay can only be bought by Qatari citizens or the Qatari government.
He explained that fully furnished and serviced one-bedroom apartments range between QAR 132,000 (US$32,250) up to QAR 156,000 (US$42,800) per year to rent while the average starting price for a single-family home would be QAR 180,000 (US$49,440) per year.
Mansion Global is now on LinkedIn. Join the discussion.
However, it is possible for non-Qatari buyers to get in on the market, and still have access to the amenities of West Bay. “The nearest locations to West Bay that permit foreign purchasers are West Bay Lagoon and the Pearl Qatar. These districts are both approximately 3.5 kilometers north of West Bay,” said Mark Proudly, director of DTZ Qatar.
Mr. Proudly said that West Bay Lagoon is mainly villas with prices starting from QAR 20 million (US$5.5 million) up to QAR 50 million (US$13.7 million). Prices in the Pearl Qatar start at around QAR 1.3 million (US$3.5 million) for a studio apartment and up to QAR 40 million (US $10.9 million) for a villa.
Mr. Boumedine described West Bay as a “an architectural tapestry,” because of its blend of Islamic, Arabic and Western design. “West Bay is the metropolitan façade of Doha city, combining commercial and residential high-end properties, with high towers and skyscrapers.”
Many of Doha’s soaring structures are in West Bay, including the Kempinski Residences and Suites (254 meters/833 feet high), the duo of Palm Towers (245 meters/804 feet high) and the bullet-like Burj Qatar (232 meters/761 feet high).
What makes it unique
Stretching over Doha’s waterfront corniche and overlooking the Arabian Gulf, Pearl Island, and the old city of Doha, West Bay is privy to some of the city’s best views. “It is a city within a city where everything can be reached within a walking distance,” Mr. Boumedine said. “Its central location gives easy access to most parts of Doha, standing in shouting distance from the cultural village of Katara, Pearl Island, the diplomatic area, and the Museum of Islamic Art.”
Many government offices are also located here, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and the Ministry of the Interior.
Luxe amenities in the neighborhood
“West Bay is a hub for a wide range of commercial and retail properties, international five-star hotels, cafés, and commercial centers that are home to brands and franchises from all over the globe,” Mr. Boumedine noted. Locals find fashions at the Gate Mall and City Center Mall. Gate Mall carries the French brand Mono-prix, Elie Tahari, Givenchy, Hugo Boss, Missoni, Paul Smith and Temperley London. The Center Mall features global retailers such as Mango, Nike, Calvin Klein and has 38 restaurants typical of North American malls (McDonald’s, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Tim Hortons), and with a movie theater, ice rink and bowling alley, there are plenty of family diversions, too.
Mr. Boumedine pointed out that the Sheraton Park, a spot of greenery overlooking the corniche is a must-see. Hotels for dining and spa days include the Sheraton Grand Doha & Convention Center, Hilton Doha, Marriott, Kempinski Doha, W Doha Hotel & Residences, the Hotel Intercontinental, the St. Regis and the Four Seasons.
Highly recommended restaurants with big-name chefs tend to be found in hotels, like Hakkasan and Gordon Ramsay Mediterranean, both at the St. Regis, Z Lounge By Zengo in the Kempinski Doha, Nobu Matsuhisa at the Four Seasons and Market by Jean George in the W Doha.
Private schools in the neighborhood include the Qatar International School (kindergarten through secondary), Lycée Bonaparte French School (kindergarten through secondary), Lycée Voltaire French School (kindergarten through secondary) and the Newton British Academy (secondary).
Who lives there?
The population is an international mix of Middle Easterners, Asians, Europeans, North and South Americans. “The area attracts Doha’s socialites, celebrities, athletes, and professionals, including lawyers, doctors, university professors, CEOs and entrepreneurs,” Mr. Boumedine said. “The West Bay community caters to people and professionals from all walks of life, and has always attracted Qataris and expats alike.”
“Due to the oil and gas price drop over the past two years, the real estate market in the MENA [Middle East and North Africa] region was subsequently affected, and the Qatari market was no exception,” said Mr. Boumedine. The market was soft for landlords looking to fill vacancies and for sellers as well.
But he’s hopeful for the future.
“Despite the changing market, West Bay area is still desired by corporates and individuals alike due to its prominent central location,” Mr. Boumedine said.
More from Mansion Global:
Follow Mansion Global:Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Messenger
Write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org