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The Pearl-Qatar to shine on worldwide TV
Al Jazeera International to broadcast development to millions

Release date: 15 September 2005

The Pearl-Qatar, the US $2.5 billion offshore island and the largest real estate development in the country, forms part of an exciting new documentary currently being filmed by Al Jazeera International current affairs and news channel.

Producers, directors and camera crews have been granted unlimited access to the development to highlight the fast pace of the country’s progress and the global scale of the project

Al Jazeera International is the 24-hour English-language news and current affairs channel, headquartered in Doha, which aims to broadcast globally in the first quarter of 2006.

A fresh perspective on world news, Al Jazeera International will offer viewers around the world an objective and independent news channel. It will cover all sides of the story from all parts of the world and will revolutionise viewer choice.

“There is a great synergy with Al Jazeera International,” said Roger Dagher, director of corporate communications at United Development Company, owners and developers of The Pearl-Qatar. “Both The Pearl-Qatar and Al Jazeera International are exciting projects which are being projected on a global scale.”

Al Jazeera International is the world’s first English language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East.  From its unique position within the Arab and Muslim World, looking outwards, Al Jazeera International will report inclusively, offering all perspectives of a story and providing a fresh 360-degree approach to news coverage.

Speaking about the project Nicholas Bashkiroff, Development Director of The Pearl-Qatar said: “We were delighted to be included in the documentary. It proves that The Pearl Qatar has now become an integral part of the country’s growth and infrastructure. With Qatar as a progressive forward moving country, it’s only fit that Al Jazeera International should, highlight the contributions to placing the country on a global stage.”


The Pearl-Qatar is a US $2.5 billion offshore, Riviera-style man-made island, covering 985 acres of reclaimed land.  It is Qatar’s first international real estate venture, the largest real estate development in the country and the first to offer freehold and residential rights to international investors. It will create over 30 kilometers of new coastline.

The Pearl-Qatar’s name and location, on a former pearl diving site, leverages the country’s traditions, and strong historical and cultural ties to the sea – it is an island rediscovered.

The Pearl-Qatar will eventually house over 35,000 residents in an up-scale, multi-cultural residential community which will be a secure and exclusive island retreat bringing the ambience and lifestyle of the Mediterranean to the heart of Arabia.

The four-phase development comprises 10 distinct districts to be developed over five years, with the first investors expected to take up residency in early 2007. The Riviera Arabia themed districts will house three luxury hotels, three marinas, with combined mooring for over 700 boats, and more than 160,000 square meters of luxury retail, recreation and restaurant space.

The Pearl-Qatar is being built 350 meters offshore the West Bay Lagoon area of the country’s capital, Doha. While offering an exclusive retreat, the island will also be closely integrated with, and have easy access to, the capital’s thriving community.

Dredging work for The Pearl-Qatar, currently underway, is scheduled to be completed early next year.

The Pearl-Qatar is being developed and promoted by United Development Company (UDC), one of Qatar’s leading private sector shareholding companies.

The Pearl-Qatar’s developer, UDC, is one of the country’s leading private sector shareholding companies with a mission to identify and invest in long-term projects that contribute to Qatar’s growth and provide good shareholder value. The company, which was established in 1999, has an authorized share capital of QR 825 million (US $227 million), was listed on the Doha Securities Market in June 2003, and is a Gulf Business Top 100 company.

UDC’s target areas of interest include: infrastructure, energy-intensive industries, downstream hydrocarbons, real estate, construction and environment-related businesses. UDC established the Qatar Dredging Company – a joint venture with the State of Qatar and Belgium’s Dredging, Environmental & Marine Engineering NV– and formed Qatar Cool, a district cooling company, in partnership with Tabreed of the United Arab Emirates. UDC is also a partner in Seef Limted – a joint venture with Qatar Petroleum to develop a plant to produce linear alkyl benzene (LAB), which is the main feedstock for detergent manufacture. The plant starts operations in 2006 with a production capacity of 100,000 tons a year. UDC has also invested in the Al Khaleej Formaldehyde Company as a joint venture partner with Qatar Fertiliser Company (QAFCO) and other Qatari investors. Operations began in 2004.

UDC’s founders, who at launch held 45% of the shares, are among Qatar’s most successful investors and developers. A large number of Qatari and GCC investors are shareholders in UDC.

Centrally located in the Arabian Gulf, the peninsula state of Qatar, with 900 trillion cubic feet, controls five percent of the world’s proven natural gas reserves. It is the richest Arab nation with a per capita income of US $30,000 per annum.

Eighty percent of the Qatari population, which is now approaching one million, is based in and around the capital, Doha.

Qatar has strong historical and cultural ties to the sea. Pearl fishing was the traditional mainstay of the economy until oil and gas took over around 50 years ago. Although pearling is no longer a key economic driver, it has left a legacy of skills, stories, music, art and poetry that is a source of identity and pride for Qataris today.

Qatar has growing inbound tourism ambitions with The Qatar Tourism Authority this year targeting arrivals of 1.25 million tourists and the Doha International Airport undergoing huge expansion to cope with the anticipated increase in passenger traffic. When completed in 2015, the airport will handle around 50 million passengers a year.

Central to the international promotion of Qatar is the country’s flag carrier Qatar Airways – now one of the world’s fastest-growing international airlines. Currently serving a growing route network throughout Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Sub-Continent and Asia, the airline will operate a fleet of 52 Airbus aircraft by 2008.

Qatar, already host to annual ATP tennis tournaments and PGA golfing events, is making a name for itself on all the international sporting event circuits and, in 2006, will host the Asian Games.

The Qatari government has a pro-business stance on foreign investment and is encouraging the growth of the country’s private sector, stimulating progress with an active privatisation programme.

*Source: Ministry of Economy and Commerce, State of Qatar

For more information, please contact:

Roger W. Dagher
Director of Corporate Communications
United Development Company (UDC)
P.O. Box 7256, Doha, Qatar

Tel  : +974 446 3408
Mob: +974 589 4088


Nathalie Visele
Shamal Marketing Communications (SMC)
PO Box 24459
Suite 712
The Fairmont Hotel
Sheikh Zayed Road
United Arab Emirates

Tel.: +971 50 4576525
Fax: +971 4 3124313




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