DOHA: The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning has announced plans to convert several major areas of Doha and some in the neighbouring municipality of Al Rayan into commercial hubs.
Shops, showrooms and offices will be located on both sides of the proposed hubs to be known as commercial streets.
And it is likely that each of these streets would be exclusively reserved for certain businesses.
For example, one hub or street might accommodate automobile showrooms, while another may have electrical appliances outlets.
The idea behind building commercial streets is to help end the severe shortage of shop and showroom space in downtown Doha and create adequate commercial space in Al Rayan municipal area where some sprawling suburbs like Al Murra and Al Aziziya
The roads in Doha that will be developed into commercial streets include Doha Jadeed Street in Doha Jadeed area of downtown Doha, Al Nada Street in the same locality, Al Wefaq Street in Old Ghanem and Raudat Al Hail (Nuaija east and west) as well as Bin Khaldoon Street in Umm Ghuwailina.
One road in Madinat Khalifa North, known as Madinat Khalifa Street, has been earmarked for conversion. In Al Murra in Al Rayan municipality, Al Faroosia Street has been chosen for conversion into a commercial area.
In Al Aziziya suburb, which is also in Al Rayan municipality, Othman bin Affan Street has been identified for development into a commercial hub.
An apex committee was recently set up to earmark localities and streets in Doha and Al Rayan where commercial hubs were to be developed with a view to creating enough commercial space to help end shortages of shops and showrooms.
It is likely that one of the seven commercial streets in Doha might be reserved for office space for engineering, audit and legal consultancies and other businesses that find it hard to afford expensive commercial space in the towers area of the West Bay.
Analysts say that while the announcement to develop commercial hubs is good news for businesses, they would lead to large-scale demolition of lower-rent residential buildings.
A rising population is already causing shortage of affordable housing in the country so the latest development plans would worsen the shortages and push housing rents further up.