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HH Sheikha Moza witnesses launch of Heart of Doha project
As the country embarks upon a new decade, Qatar’s single-most significant urban renewal project, the Musheireb, was inaugurated yesterday. Officially launched with the groundbreaking ceremony by His Highness the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani yesterday, the six-year-long project in five phases foresees a vibrant and thriving development with people and communities at its heart.
Originally presented as the ‘Heart of Doha’ by the developer, Dohaland, the 35-hectare area was renamed yesterday by HH the Emir as ‘Musheireb’ (Arabic: Place where one can draw water from). Held at Doha Corniche, the ceremony also witnessed Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Dohaland’s chairperson, reviving an age-old Qatari tradition by leaving her handprint on the cornerstone of the Musheireb project.
“Our past clearly reflected that communities in Qatar have always been close-knit. People lived and worked together in harmony with the climate, with the land and with each other. We had our own ways of dealing with our environment which was sustainable and human in scale, and thus, our architecture reflected the unity of our family’s identity,” she said in a pre-recorded presentation during the ceremony that among other things encompassed the nation’s desert, maritime, and architectural heritage.
The cornerstone is symbolic of a time when people inadvertently left their marks on the walls and surfaces of the houses they built with their own hands, thereby forging an actual physical connection with their dwelling, Dohaland officials said.
Her Highness also unveiled Dohaland’s floating Knowledge Enrichment Centre amidst the presence of hundreds of dignitaries.