The breathtaking beauty of Lusail, Qatar’s city of the future
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is going to be the biggest and most important event to be held in the country Lusail City will be the centre of attraction with its state-of-the-art Lusail City Stadium scheduled to host the final just under two years from now.
But Lusail City is not just a World Cup final venue and another high-tech smart city, it is also one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects yet, featuring a host of factors and sustainability is at the forefront of them.
In Lusail, the heritage and values of Qatari culture, the beauty and simplicity of Islamic architecture and stubbornness to embrace nature meets innovation and ultra-modern facilities to ensure the highest quality of life attainable for generations to come.
The identity of Lusail is as much ingrained in the monumental Katara Towers as it is in the carefully planted trees by the sidewalks of Marina Promenade.
Built by Lusail Real Estate Development Company on behalf of Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, Lusail City will be home to 200,000 residents and workplace to a further 170,000. The City, comprising 19 districts, will have schools, mosques, hospitals, sport, entertainment and shopping centres besides the residential, commercial, hospitality, and retail facilities, making it a complete community.
It will be equipped with a 38km light rail (LRT) network that will connect the city to a wider network of rails that Qatar and its neighbouring countries plan to build. Lusail’s tram network will have a low energy consumption which is a key point in Qatar’s development plans. One train replaces around 40 cars and so it will take less road space. It connects to the Doha Metro through two interchange stations at Lusail and Legtaifiya and will soon be the main transport hub for the city.
Lusail will also feature a water taxi transportation system, cycle and pedestrian paths, park and ride system and intra-mobility network.
Lusail City will have an array of dazzling features lined up for its occupants, but equally impressive is the importance given to nature conservation right from the building process.
It is the first city in Qatar to endorse the principles of the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) - the first performance-based system in the region developed for assessing and rating buildings and infrastructure for their sustainability. For the rating, all buildings in Lusail must comply with the energy and water conservation calculators to ensure the target scores are achieved with regard to reducing the energy consumption and use of water. And according to the Lusail City website, the buildings currently have at least a two-star rating.
Lusail, which embodies Qatar National Vision 2030, a development plan to “transform Qatar into an advanced society capable of achieving sustainable development" by 2030, is the single largest sustainable development in the country. And right from adopting a landscape plan that helps in minimising water consumption by choosing Qatar endemic trees and minimum lawn area to reducing the noise level during construction, sustainability has been the central theme of Lusail City.
And some of the other key sustainable infrastructures that press home Lusail City’s commitment to the cause are:
- A huge cooling system that will save 65 million tons of CO2 annually.
- Connecting every single plot in the entire city to the Natural Gas Network, thereby saving electricity consumption particularly for domestic cooking and all large public entertainment venues and food and beverage venues.
- Sewage treatment plant to ensure that all treated greywater will be recycled for irrigation purposes.
- Pneumatic Waste Collection (PWC), in addition to traditional waste collection, designed and implemented with source segregation for wet and dry waste to support the national treatment facility.
- Smart City concept designed to offer residents and visitors in Lusail an enhanced quality of life by availing the state of the art internal security services and integration of city-wide smart metering, smart grid, integrated traffic management systems.
- Centralised facilities, proximity to district facilities and reduction of travelling distance.
The information and communications technology infrastructure of Lusail City also delivers sustainable services without compromising on efficiency, thereby ensuring the smooth running of businesses and an enhanced lifestyle for its occupants. The high-technology environment comprising both wired and wireless communication networks ensure a variety of communication facilities allowing its residents to access any network from any place and at any time.
Lusail City’s commitment to sustainability and its use of technology in every walk of life can only be matched by its devotion to sheer beauty. Everything you see around in Lusail - be it the spectacular Lusail City Stadium or a piece of the urban furniture used for landscaping - stands out by its beauty. Only the size and scale differs, the central theme is the same.Major attractions
Lusail City has a number of big attractions such as Katara Towers, Lusail Marina Promenade, The Marina Twin Towers and Qetaifan Islands, but since the 2022 World Cup will draw the attention of the whole world on Qatar, the Lusail City Stadium has to be the star of the show.
Lusail City Stadium
The 80,000 capacity Lusail City Stadium, built in the Sports District of Lusail City, is an architectural marvel, just like most of the World Cup venues in the country. The inspiration for the design of Lusail City Stadium came from the interplay of light and shadow that characterises the fanar lantern while its shape and outer appearance in muted gold were derived from the traditional decorative motifs on vessels and other art pieces found in the region.
Besides the final, the stadium will host nine other matches including a semifinal and a quarterfinal and the opening and closing ceremonies. Lusail City will also have a golf district which will house a world-class golfing facility along with a superior residential, living and recreational environment.
The Entertainment City comprises five districts -- Downtown, Corniche, North Shore, South Shore, and The Villas (South Shore Villas and Fox Hill Villas), with each of them having a distinct character. A canal will run through the districts making them accessible through a water taxi. As the name suggests, entertainment will be the central theme of the city and it will have shopping malls, souks, neighbourhood retail units, restaurants, apartments and villas, different types of hotels, theme parks, water parks and theatres.
It will also have a music and light fountain, family entertainment centre, cinema complex and a fully equipped state-of-the-art fitness centre.
Situated just off the coast, the Qetaifan Islands comprising three southern islands and a northern one will be the synonym of style and status even in Lusail City. Besides numerous luxurious waterfront residential units, the islands will also have hotels, spa centres, tennis courts retail units and other world-class facilities.
In November 2020, Al Boraq Automobiles, the dealers of German Luxury carmakers Porsche, signed a deal with Qetaifan Projects managing director Sheikh Nasser bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, for the supply and construction of electric charging stations for electric cars on Qetaifan Island North and more such ventures are expected in arguably the most exclusive property in the country.
The Lusail Plaza, the heart of the city, is defined by four monumental towers. The identical highrises are designed in such a way that they don’t interrupt much of each other’s view into the bay and together they give the city a stunning look.
There will be a light rail transit station in the middle of the Plaza to connect the Purple and Red/Green metro lines and ensure they are well linked with Qatar’s public transport network. The LRT will also encourage visitors to the ambience of a pedestrian realm. The plaza will have a central open space that can accommodate events for up to 10,000 people and it could be a possible fan zone during the World Cup.
The iconic Katara Towers got its shape from the crossed traditional swords in Qatar’s national emblem, the National coat of arms. Set to open in 2021, the Katara Towers is the first hospitality project in Qatar to receive a certificate for GSAS Design and Build 5 Stars rating at the design stage. The 36-storied towers will house a five-star hotel with 361 rooms and suites to cater to the needs of travellers and 49 apartments that will be home to permanent residents. The Katara Towers will have a healthy indoor environment by ensuring the highest levels of air quality, acoustics, lighting and thermal comfort.
Lusail Marina Promenade
The 3.5 km long seafront promenade in Marina district became an instant hit soon after its inauguration in December 2018`. The Promenade, adorned by musical fountains, steel pergolas, sophisticated urban furniture and play equipment, smart lighting and beautiful trees, is a perfect place to stroll, walk, jog or just sit idle. It is also the setting for the International Light Festival which was held in Qatar for the first time in 2018.
Lusail City has a number of other attractions such as The Marina Twin Towers, the Waterfront Hotel, the waterpark in North Qetaifan island, the Place Vendome Mall and the Crescent Park while one of the suspension bridges looks so stunning, it’s almost surreal.
Equipped with utility tunnels for easy maintenance work, a dizzying network of roads, stormwater drainage and embellished with pocket gardens, parks, and promenades, Lusail City is indeed Qatar’s future city. All in all, it is safe to say that Lusail City has to be seen to be believed.
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