Plans to develop a five-star hotel and spa complex in central Doha on a site that contains natural woods have been met with protests from some Qatar residents.
Construction for the Al Messila Hotel and VVIP Spa Resort is taking place at an area dubbed “Al Messila forest,” which features hundreds of indigenous trees and sits alongside the Doha Expressway, opposite the US Embassy.
According to Qatari environmental activist Khalid Al Mohannadi, work on the site began earlier this year, and at least 600 trees have been dug up to prepare the ground for the luxury retreat.
He said the copse included some 1,100 trees and has been there for more than 50 years. It continued to grow after its life as a plant nursery, and became home to an ecosystem of birds and other wildlife.
However, the engineering consultants responsible for the development of the site said that they are protecting all the trees in on-site nursery, and the foliage will be re-planted once the resort is completed.
In a statement sent to Doha News, Omar Farid, senior architect for regional firm Unii Engineering Consultancy, said: