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JustHere | December 6, 2016

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In Doha, a rare green block to give way to a luxury spa; Destruction of Al Messila Farm a cause for despair

In Doha, a rare green block to give way to a luxury spa; Destruction of Al Messila Farm a cause for despair
Sukanya Seshadri

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.

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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.

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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’.

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Artistic rendering of the proposed luxury spa

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.

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JustHere contacted the developers of the project, and we wait to hear back from them.

 

Photos Courtesy: Khalid Al Mohannadi (https://twitter.com/KhalidSawUs)

Copyright © 2013 JustHere Qatar. Reproduction of material from any JustHere Qatar pages without written permission is strictly prohibited.

Comments

  1. Dounya

    This is very sad…why is there no respect for nature in qatar?so angry…

  2. Kez

    What can we do about this, has a petition been set up? Sure we can spread the word but unless we can officially log objections then it will continue. However, it seems it is already past the planning stage if they are already clearing the site? Is it too late? I wish we had known about this earlier.

  3. Abs

    No! We need more of thriving green areas like this in Qatar, seriously. With this heat? Please no 🙁 It was so beautiful there.

  4. Ann Distin

    How about building the resort along the road and having an exciting high rise road over the buildings ? Can one construct a good argument for the health of all by retaining the trees ? and DO set up a petition quickly

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