DOHA: A massive and multi-layer underground parking facility is planned near Souq Waqif to enable visitors get easier access to the country’s tourist hotspot.
The management of Souq Waqif is literally inundated with public complaints about lack of parking space in the area, particularly in the evenings.
Plans are also afoot to expand the existing roads around the Souq to make sure the traffic flow is smooth when visitors pour into the hotspot.
Large parking slots that already exist in areas around the Souq might also be re-organised so visitors are not hassled on days when exceptional crowds converge.
The multi-storey underground parking facility planned at stone’s throw from Souq Waqif would be able to accommodate as many as 2,000 cars at a time.
The facility is to be built beneath the expansive ground overlooking the picturesque necklace along the Gulf waters on the Corniche.
This is where the headquarters of Capital Police once stood. There already is one underground parking facility across Souq Waqif (near Emiri Diwan), which can accommodate 750 cars at a time.
There is a subway that links the facility to the Souq.
The new underground parking facility will have several subways leading to the Souq. A large green area will be developed above this facility, at the ground level with the Souq.
This would be a public park and plans are afoot to have a big open-air theatre amidst lush greenery.
The Director of Souq Waqif, Mohamed Al Salem, said yesterday, while outlining the plans, that once the new underground parking facility is in place and the roads are expanded, visitors would have an easy access to the Souq even during rush hours.
“Visitors would have enough parking space, so there wouldn’t be a problem.”
Besides, there are already two parking slots — one towards Musherib, and the other opposite the Fanar Mosque. They can together accommodate nearly 740 cars at a time, he said.
Souq Waqif is attracting a lot of visitors that is prompting the management to think in terms of ensuring easier access and solving car parking woes.
The Souq Najada car parking facility can also be used by Souq visitors. This facility can accommodate 600 cars, said the director. He told Al Sharq in an interview that plans are also afoot to have five more hotels within the Souq premises.
“We already have four hotels and we will soon add five more.” The Peninsula