Msheireb Properties (MP) has regenerated the historic downtown district of Doha, to create a brand new, smart, sustainable inner-city development - Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD). MP has fully restored the former heart of Qatar’s capital, while pioneering sustainability and providing a brand-new architectural language for the world. The MDD regeneration began in 2010, and fully opened in 2022. It is the world’s first downtown regeneration project and is Doha’s new destination for living, leisure, and business. The entire development is designed to consume fewer resources, generate less waste, lower costs, and achieve a reduced carbon footprint. It is also designed to reverse high-rise trends and a dependency on cars.
With 800 homes, many businesses, and the very latest in innovative architecture and design to put people first, MDD seeks to minimise its environmental impact by embracing modern architectural practices, while still being firmly rooted in the historic past on which the area is built. It is by breathing new life back to the historic heart of Doha that MDD has found the most success – the area that was so crucial to Qatar’s past, is now once again humming with new and vibrant life. Whilst honouring Qatar’s architectural past, MDD is also looking to the future, and is pioneering new ways to solve universal challenges, which includes working in tandem with the environment around us by drawing on traditional practices, and utilising local materials designed to withstand the local conditions.
MDD was created with sustainability at its core, with the view to creating something that would last. The district has rainwater harvesting and recycling, as well as shady overhangs that make walking outside cooler. Buildings are fitted with 7,800 rooftop solar panels to provide onsite energy generation and hot water, which generate around 25% of the power needed for the city. MP utilised sustainable materials to reduce electricity consumption, including eco-friendly building material, thicker walls, recessed windows, and heat-isolating glass to prevent heat loss and keep the internal temperatures lower, which means buildings require less energy for cooling in the hot summer. As a result, the project has achieved a 30% reduction in energy use across the district.
MDD is the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project and is built with sustainability as a core focus from the inside out.
All buildings are either Gold or Platinum LEED-certified and adhere to the highest standards in green building services. While most projects achieve LEED-certification for buildings after completion, this accreditation was a key goal for planners before building work even began.
Buildings are massed to shade one another, and light-colored to reduce cooling requirements. MDD infrastructure also uses eco-friendly building material, thicker walls, and heat-isolating glass that prevents heat loss and keeps the internal temperature, resulting in the use of less energy for cooling.
Most buildings in MDD are fitted with over 6,400 rooftop solar panels to provide onsite energy generation and 1,400 solar panels to secure hot water, which generate around 25 percent of power for many buildings. All these systems are costly to implement initially, but the operational cost over the mid- and long-term is much less, with fewer and lower bills, and more profitability. The entire development is designed to consume fewer resources, generate less waste, lower costs, and achieve a reduced carbon footprint. By combining traditional methods, such as the freej style of building, with modern technology aimed at preserving the environment as well as the cultural identity of Doha, MDD is a model of what a sustainable city can be, for others to follow.
MP is extremely proud to present this project to the world, as an example of how the old can be rejuvenated by the new, to create a space that works in concert with its surroundings, while seeking to minimise its impact on the precious natural environment. MP’s mission is to change the way that people think about urban living and to improve quality of life through innovative developments that have social interaction, cultural norms, and a deep respect for the environment at their core.