Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City in partnership with AlBarakah International Investments, a leading real estate developer, has revealed the commencement of works for the AED 850 million ‘AlQana’ project. The ground breaking ceremony, which was held in the presence of H.E. Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport, saw the laying of the corner stone at the project site in Khor Al Maqta, signaling the start of the project per its pre-agreed schedule. The ‘AlQana’ project is being positioned as an ideal tourist and entertainment destination. Located along the Khor Al Maqta area in Abu Dhabi, it will be one of the new urban landmarks of the emirate. The ground breaking was attended by senior executives and representatives of AlBarakah and members of the local media.

H.E. Misbah Mubarak Al Marar, Acting Director-General, Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, stated that ‘AlQana’ is an embodiment of the strategy developed by the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport aimed at providing superior services and recreational and housing facilities that fall in line with the key vision of the Abu Dhabi Government and its comprehensive development plans. He further explained that the project affirms the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City’s continuing efforts to reinforce partnerships with the private sector, especially in the move towards implementing community projects and developing services that meet the needs of the local community and help in the creation of an ideal environment where the happiness and well-being of people play a key factor in the evolution and achievement of sustainable development.

H.E. Al Marar also stated that Abu Dhabi’s Municipal System has succeeded in implementing many of the infrastructural projects and recreational facilities that have become an integral part of its facilities system which forms the foundation for supporting ongoing and future development projects. He also emphasized that the quality of the projects and their international standards have contributed in highlighting Abu Dhabi as an excellent regional and global example of successful development, growth and sustainability. He pointed out that the department and the three municipalities will continue to establish similar projects in cooperation with the private sector which will be launched soon. The goal is to create multiple housing and entertainment options meeting international standards and specifications in line with the vision of Abu Dhabi to achieve prosperity, maintain an integrated lifestyle for its people, and offer modern services.

The Acting Director-General also revealed that the ‘AlQana’ project is the first-ever Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model implemented by the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City and is being jointly developed with the private sector. he added that the project is in line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 which aims to create a cooperative environment between the public and private sectors. Upon completion, the ‘AlQana’ project is envisioned to become a dynamic venue among the UAE capital’s privileged strategic areas.

In the same context, Saeed Bin Omair, Chairman, of AlBarakah International Investments, expressed his happiness and pride at the commencement of the project, which represents the continuing move to strengthen collaboration with the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport. He noted that the combined efforts of the government and private sector will open up promising investment prospects that support the move to position Abu Dhabi as a highly attractive destination in terms of economy, tourism, and investment.

Bin Omair pointed out that ‘AlQana’ is a leading touristic and entertaining project that meets all economic, investment, and leisure standards and specifications. It covers an area of 150,000sqm and extends over a 2.4 kilometer waterfront. The mixed-use waterfront project is strategically located along Khor Al Maqta, the historic, natural waterway separating Abu Dhabi from the mainland.

The AED 850 million project will feature a 5,000 sqm aquarium – the biggest in Abu Dhabi – as well as the emirate’s largest standalone cinema. It will also include a unique family entertainment center; a marina; a huge dedicated area for indoor and outdoor sports; restaurants, picnic areas and community shops; a walk path connected by four bridges; and running and cycling tracks, among other amenities. The project will include furnished apartments available for lease and parking for around 3,000 vehicles will be constructed as well.

Bin Omair revealed that ‘AlQana’ is scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2018. With no high rise buildings or tower blocks, visitors will have unobstructed views of nearby scenery such as the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The waterfront project is also a few footsteps away from the Ritz-Carlton, one of the finest resorts on Abu Dhabi Island, as well as the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr and Shangri-La hotels.

He added that the AlQana project complements the comprehensive development plans being undertaken by the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City in response to the demands of the rapidly growing local tourism industry. He stated that his company designed this strategic project to cater to the entertainment, leisure and lifestyle needs and tastes of children, youths and adults alike. What will emerge as Abu Dhabi’s most magnificent waterfront will boast of distinctive architectural designs and modern facilities and services accentuated by historic and scenic surroundings, he said.

Bin Omair further explained that the execution of this distinguished project and the success of Al Barakah International Investments to earn the trust of the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport is an honor and a testament to AlBarakah’s mission of providing world-class standards of development as well as innovative advancements in entertainment while paying homage to cultural identity and pride.

‘AlQana’ the first-ever Build-Operate-Transfer model implemented by Abu Dhabi City Municipality is being jointly developed with AlBarakah International Investments. International Construction Contracting Company (ICCC) is the lead contractor.

The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City is moving forward with its strategy to enhance its partnership and cooperation with the private sector. It aims to execute several development projects for various facilities with similar specifications and world-class standards