In Doha, a rare green block to give way to a luxury spa; Destruction of Al Messila Farm a cause for despair
Al Messila Forest, a tree farm spread out over approximately 132,000 square metres in Qatar along the Doha Expressway, is being torn down to be replaced by a luxury resort and spa.
In a country where the presence of any kind of foliage is at the bare minimal level, tearing down one of the last remaining green patches within Doha has made many residents despair. Qatari resident, entrepreneur and storyteller Khalid Al Mohannadi tweeted that more than 600 trees in the forest have been cut down already and that more would be chopped down soon. He reports that it used to be a nursery around 50 years ago, but it has remained neglected since then. Following this, the authorities try to dry the area.
Residents who have passed by the area remark that the forest had its own thriving ecosystem which consisted of beehives and even chickens and have expressed their discontent over this ‘deforestation’.
Largest luxury resort. At what cost?
The resort project that is proposed to be developed in place of the forest is called Al Messila VIP Resort and Spa, according to the construction design firms Unii Engineering Consultancy in Doha and Salfo & Associates in Greece. The plan is to develop the largest five-star resort in Qatar along with a spa and guest villas.
However, this isn’t the first natural landmark to be disrupted by urban development. The mangroves on the coast of Qatar have been in threat of destruction due to construction activities. The removal of mangroves, which are important breeding grounds for fishes, has led to the loss of more than 20 species of fishes off Al Wakra.
Al-Mohannadi urges all the residents of Qatar to spread the word about this cause and for everyone to unite to petition this cause, which is the only way to demand any action against this.
JustHere contacted the developers of the project, and we wait to hear back from them.
Photos Courtesy: Khalid Al Mohannadi (https://twitter.com/KhalidSawUs)