Doha: United Development Corporation (UDC) expects the number of residential units on The Pearl, a man-made island off Qatar's coast, to triple to 4,000 this year and reach 8,000 by the end of 2011, its executive vice-president of finance said.
"We see a lot of units being delivered toward the second-half of this year," Abdullah Araj said in an interview in Doha yesterday. "By the first half of next year, we [will] see a big, steep jump of deliveries happening."
The Pearl will be "substantially complete by 2012" and eventually have 16,000 residential units and 41,000 residents, Araj said.
The $14 billion (Dh51.4 billion) development accounted for about a quarter of UDC's revenue in the first half of the year, Araj said.
The company reported revenue of 557.4 million riyals (Dh545.3 million), with net income of 340.9 million riyals.
Qatar, holder of the world's third-largest natural gas reserves, is investing in real estate, financial services and education to diversify away from oil and gas, which account for more than half the country's gross domestic product, according to the US Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook.
Qatar's population of 1.6 million may increase by as little as 500,000 in the next two decades, Ebrahim Ebrahim, economic adviser to the emir, said last month.
Unlike in most of Qatar, where foreigners aren't permitted to own property, non-Qataris can purchase homes on The Pearl.