DOHA: A project that will see small shopping centres being opened in remote areas of the country was inaugurated yesterday, and registration for the allotment of shops through lottery begins online on May 11.
The centres will basically have service shops like laundries, barber shops, bakeries, restaurants, pharmacies, meat and tailoring outlets, among others.
The project, Al Furjan (plural of Arabic term ‘fereej’, meaning neighbourhood) aims at helping residents in remote areas access daily basic needs locally so they don’t have to come to Doha.
Shops in the centres will be rented out to licensed Qatari companies at monthly rents of QR6,000 each. Besides, those allotted shops must provide a bank guarantee of QR50,000.
The lottery will be conducted in the presence of officials from the Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy and Commerce and media persons, officials said.
Registration for the lottery is to be done online, between May 11 and 18, by eligible applicants (company owners). The licence of the companies (issued by the ministry) should be valid.
The centres are to be built in 44 places, spread across geographical zones. The total number of shops in all 44 centres will be 645 — one centre on average will have 15 shops.
Four centres will be in Al Thumama, six in Raudat Qadeem, four in Al Merab, four in Ain Khalid, seven in Al Laqtifia, three in Hazmul Markhiya, three in Jariyan Najeema, four in Al Ebb and nine in Raudat Al Hammam.
The centres will also have ATMs, post offices and e-Kiosks to make payments for services, and a taxi stand each.
The centres will be of two types — big and small. The bigger ones will have outlets for 27 economic activities and the smaller ones will support 11 activities.
The project is being executed in three phases. The first two phases are over and work on the third is on. In the first phase, 12 centres with 122 shops and in the second phase 176 shops at 18 centres were built. The project is being executed by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce in collaboration with Qatar Development Bank (QDB), the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning and Qatar Chamber.
Yesterday, it was inaugurated by the Minister of Economy and Commerce H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani in the presence of the Minister of Municipality and Urban Planning H E Sheikh Abdel Rahman bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Minister of Transport H E Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, the President of Qatari Businessmen’s Association, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassem Al Thani, the Chairman of Qatar Chamber, Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani, and Saeed Mubarak Al Kuwari from QDB.
Those allotted shops will not be allowed to sublet or transfer their ownership. The Minister of Economy and Commerce said the centres, once ready, will ease traffic congestion in Doha.