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Qatar’s Souq Ahmed demolished to make way for new hotel

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As part of plans to redevelop Doha’s old downtown, demolition has begun on Souq Ahmed Bin Ali, with neighboring souqs facing permanent closure by the end of the year.

Much of Souq Ahmed, which is located behind the Fanar Cultural Center and opened in the late 1980s, has already been bulldozed, with several diggers breaking down remaining sections this week.

According to developers UrbaCon Trading & Contracting (UCC), a hotel will be built on the site. A pedestrian tunnel is also in the works under Bank St., leading from the old souq area to the popular Souq Waqif.

The tunnel is set to open by the end of the year, UCC said in a statement to Doha News, adding that it is currently drawing up the design concepts for a boutique hotel on the old souq site.

Souq Ahmed demolition
For the past few decades, Souq Ahmed hosted some 50 small stores that sold lower-priced bed linens, clothing and household goods. It was also home to several money exchanges and cafes.

The area was popular with Qataris and residents from Asian countries because the stores often offered discounts on their goods.

While some residents mourn the departure of the old souqs, others argue that the dilapidation of some of the buildings is potentially dangerous and the redevelopment is part of Doha’s ongoing reinvention over the years.


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