The Business Year

Abdulla Hassan Al-Mehshadi

QATAR - Real Estate & Construction

A Better Version of Oneself

CEO, Msheireb Properties


Abdulla Hassan Al-Mehshadi is the CEO of Msheireb Properties, a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation. Alongside the Board of Directors, he is responsible for delivering Msheireb Properties’ flagship project, Msheireb Downtown Doha, the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project. Al-Mehshadi has three decades of experience in the engineering and construction industries, as well as a range of respected academic achievements. He also serves as an advisory board member for businesses throughout the GCC, including Stenden University Qatar, Premier Inn Doha Hotels, Time Qatar, and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Doha. He is also a board director of HEC Paris Alumni.

TBY talks to Abdulla Hassan Al-Mehshadi, CEO of Msheireb Properties, on being a model for future smart cities, creating a new architectural harmony, and living up to the cosmopolitan standards of Qatar's history.

How does Msheireb Properties uphold its threefold approach of sustainability, modernity, and preservation of Qatari heritage in its projects?

Msheireb Properties’ vision is to be a pioneering development company that respects the environment, and considers Qatar’s architecture, history, and culture as component parts to creating something harmonic with the landscape and heritage of the country. When Qatar first began to produce oil and gas, building designers and contractors did not take these factors into consideration. However, based on HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser’s inspiring vision, we have taken the initiative to develop our own architectural language. This is the vision that Msheireb Properties abides by. We felt our country needed to identify its own architectural language, a style that really belongs to Qatar and is made for us, buy us. At the same time, we needed to modernize designs to meet today’s needs, take Qatar’s architectural language into the future, and restore the uniqueness of Qatar’s built environment.

How do you assess the current development of the Msheireb Downtown Doha project?

This is divided into four different phases, and we are pleased to have finished 80% of its completion. Phase IV has been held back due to the metro station works. However, we are making good progress and have finished the public areas, trams, parks, and parking. We have had discussions with the government about the possibility of creating our own municipal authority within Msheireb Downtown Doha, as this will allow people to interact easily within our development. At this moment in time, we are in the peak of our sales and leasing activities, with a lot of visitors coming to see the residential, retail, and commercial sites; some tenants are even doing their own fit-outs for their buildings.

Qatar is characterized by its wide retail and hospitality offerings. What makes Msheireb Downtown Doha different?

This is located in the heart of Doha, close to the corniche and the shops, museums, and businesses. Our location is second-to-none. The project is also state-of-the-art in every sense: a smart city with a completely climate-controlled environment, a great layout and vibrant open main square, excellent five-star hotels, including the first Mandarin Oriental hotel in the Middle East, high-end boutiques and stores, big offices and commercial spaces, the world’s first 10,000-space integrated underground carpark, and great restaurants and cafes.

How will the Msheireb Downtown Doha project affect the growth of the city?

This will become Qatar’s epicenter and break down all barriers. It will be a dynamic city where people can interact and do business, as it has everything you could hope for as a living and working space. At the same time, it will be a pilot for future smart cities. Msheireb Downtown Doha will become a real driver of transformation in Doha and the lives of its residents. Historically, Qatar has always been a place that has brought different people together; our vision is to simply develop and enhance this for the benefit of future generations. Moreover, we have developed a blueprint that could be shared among different cities around the world. Msheireb Downtown Doha is a model; we based our project on research about other smart city projects, and now Msheireb Downtown Doha is ready to be a reference point for similar projects around the world.

What are your expectations for 2017?

We expect Msheireb Downtown Doha to open in 2017. We are working to attract people and businesses to the project’s residential, commercial, and retail areas. We have tested the market and opened Msheireb Downtown Doha’s museums and public spaces to visitors. The project is gaining attention in Qatar for its uniqueness and the transformative effect it will have on the city. With Msheireb Downtown Doha coming to life this year, our ambitions are limitless.



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