Urban Form and Real Estate Value in Msheireb Downtown Doha, Qatar


  • Adheena K. Aliyar Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qatar University, Qatar https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6570-0655
  • Dr. Mark D. Major Department of Architecture and Design, Abu Dhabi University, UAE https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3203-8794
  • Heba O. Tannous Department of Interior Design, American University of Palestine, Palestinian Territories
  • Fatima R.A. Al-Esmail Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qatar University, Qatar




Urban Form , Real Estate value , Regeneration, Urban Studies, Qatar


In the late 20th century, Doha’s rapid urbanization and globalization led to the loss of housing and the compact, traditional urban fabric in the old city center. The Qatari government and Msheireb Properties developed Msheireb Downtown Doha to bring urban living back with a contemporary re-interpretation of the traditional urban fabric and modern life conveniences. Our study's primary objective is to investigate the relationship between urban form and the rental value of residential units, identifying factors that might influence rental asking prices. The paper examines morphological characteristics through field surveys and the real-estate variables such as location, floor area, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and asking price collected from publicly available real estate websites. The findings indicate that the residential units' layout and adjacent streets' morphological characteristics clearly define specific targeted user groups. Larger residential units target Qatari families via more bedrooms/bathrooms and quieter urban settings, emphasizing Islamic cultural values. Smaller units target ex-pat workers (especially Westerners) using open-plan layouts in more lively urban environments of the development. The price per square meter also increases for residential units closer to the Doha Metro station. The study reiterates the success of compact living for improving urban living in other neighborhoods of old Doha.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Adheena K. Aliyar, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qatar University, Qatar

Adheena began the Master of Urban Planning Design (MUPD) in the DAUP-CENG at QU in Spring 2022. She is an Indian architect who graduated with a First Class in the Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch) program from Kerala University, in India. She is an Accredited Member (CA/ 2018/93051) of the Indian Council of Architecture. Adheena is currently working as an Urban Planner Intern at the Arab Engineering Bureau, Qatar. She is also working on other research under the QU grant, titled “The Rapid Urbanization of Qatar: Implications and Design Responses for Integrated Urban Development and Improved Quality of Life in Najma, Qatar,” and "Understanding the Local Impact of Accessibility of Museum of Islamic Art Park, Doha”.

Dr. Mark D. Major, Department of Architecture and Design, Abu Dhabi University, UAE

Mark is the author of The Syntax of City Space: American Urban Grids (Routledge, 2018) about American cities' urban and spatial morphology. He is an architect-planner with experience in the private, non-profit, and public sectors, from small businesses to government/professional organizations to the Fortune 500 in Europe, the USA, and the Middle East. Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts in Design (Architecture) and History from Clemson University (1991) in the USA. He also holds a Master of Science in Architecture from the University of London (1993) and a Ph.D. in Architecture from University College London (2015). Mark has taught at Qatar University, Savannah College of Art & Design, and University College London. He is a former Director of Space Syntax Ltd. in London, a certified planner of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) for 20 years, and a lifetime and accredited member of the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU-A). Mark is one of the leading space syntax researchers in the world and a member of the International Space Syntax Steering Committee.

Heba O. Tannous, Department of Interior Design, American University of Palestine, Palestinian Territories

Heba O. Tannous, a dedicated part-time Instructor at the American University of Palestine and Berzeit University in Palestine, is a distinguished professional in the field of urban design and planning. With a Master of Science in Urban Design and Planning (MUPD) from Qatar University and a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Design from Eastern Mediterranean University in North Cyprus, Heba brings a wealth of knowledge to her teaching and research roles. Hailing from Jerusalem, Palestine, Heba's passion for architecture and urban development is underscored by her impressive achievements, including winning Third Prize in the RIBA Cityscape Intelligence Sketchbook-Culturally Significant Vernacular Architecture in the Gulf competition in 2020. Her scholarly pursuits have resulted in numerous co-authored papers with Dr. Major, most notably, "Urban Transformations: From restricted random aggregation to designed cultural intent in Middle Eastern cities," presented at the 12th International Space Syntax Symposium in Beijing, China, in 2019. Additionally, Heba's contributions as a Research Assistant for projects like "The Doha Syntax: A Configurational Model of Vehicular and Pedestrian Networks in Qatar's Capital" and "The Doha Syntax, Phase 2: Urban Movement Network Validation of Space Syntax Model of Metropolitan Doha, State of Qatar" underscore her commitment to advancing urban planning and design in the Middle East.


Al-Amadi, D., Major M. D., Atour, R., Al-Ansari, A., Al-Maiki, N. (2022). Form and Function in The Pearl-Qatar Artificial Island Development. 5th International Conference of Contemporary Affairs in Architecture and Urbanism (ICCAUA-2022) Conference Proceedings Book 11-13 May 2022, Alanya HEP University, Alanya, 617-627, https://doi.org/10.38027/ICCAUA2022EN0100

Alattar, D.A., Nafi, S., Boussaa, D. (2021). The search for identity in a global world: The case of Doha in Qatar. Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal, 14(1752-9638), 295-311.

Alfadala, E., Furlan, R. (2018). Sustainable Neighborhoods in the State of Qatar: Msheireb Downtown Doha. Saudi Journal of Engineering and Technology (SJEAT), 3(7), pp. 446-463, https://www.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.34440.06401

Al-Hammadi, M.I. (2021). Toward Sustainable Tourism in Qatar: Msheireb Downtown Doha as a Case Study. Frontiers in Sustainable Cities, 3:799208, https://www.doi.org/10.3389/frsc.2021.799208

Al-Khani, F.A. (2018). The Important Role of Friday Mosques in Reviewing the Urban Identity of Doha, Qatar. Doha: Master's Thesis, Master of Urban Design and Planning (MUPD) Program, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Engineering, Qatar University. Copies are available from the QU Main Library at http://hdl.handle.net/10576/11222.

Al-Mohannadi A., Furlan, R. (2022). The syntax of the Qatari traditional house: privacy, gender segregation and hospitality constructing Qatar architectural identity, Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering, 21(2), 263-283, https://doi.org/10.1080/13467581.2020.1869555

Al-Mohannadi, A. (2019). The Spatial Culture of Traditional and Contemporary Housing in Qatar. A Comparative Analysis based on Space Syntax, Master's Thesis, Master of Urban Design and Planning (MUPD) Program, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Engineering, Qatar University. Copies are available from the QU Main Library at http://hdl.handle.net/10576/12881

Al-Mohannadi, A., Furlan R., Major, M.D. (2020). A Cultural Heritage Framework for Preserving Qatari Vernacular Domestic Architecture. Special Issue on Space Syntax Theory, Methods and Applications, Sustainability: Sustainable Urban and Rural Development, 12(18), 7295, https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187295, https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/18/7295

Al-Mohannadi, A., Furlan, R., Grosvald, M. (2022). Women's spaces in the vernacular Qatari courtyard house: how privacy and gendered spatial segregation shape architectural identity. Open House International, 3 February 2023. https://doi.org/10.1108/OHI-01-2022-0011

Al-Mohannadi, A., Major, M.D., Furlan, R., Al-Matwi R.S., Isaifan R.J. (2023) “Investigation of Spatial and Cultural Features in Contemporary Qatari Housing,” Urban Science, 7(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7020060, https://www.mdpi.com/2413-8851/7/2/60

Babar, Z. (2018). Im/mobile highly skilled migrants in Qatar. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 45(9), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2018.1492372

Boyle A, Barrilleaux, C., Scheller, D. (2013). Does Walkability Influence Housing Prices? Social Science Quarterly, 95(3), 18 November 2013, https://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12065

Cushman & Wakefield (2020). Qatar’s Residential Property Market 2020. Doha, Qatar: Cushman & Wakefield Qatar. Accessed 17 May 202023 at https://cushmanwakefield.qa/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Qatar-Residential-Property-Guide.pdf

Furlan, R., Petruccioli, A. and Jamaleddin, M. (2019). The authenticity of place-making: Space and character of the regenerated historic district in Msheireb, Downtown Doha (state of Qatar). International Journal of Architectural Research,Archnet (Archnet-IJAR), 13(1), 151-168. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARCH-11-2018-0009

Furlan, R., Petruccioli, A., Major, M.D., Zaina, S., Zaina, S., Al Saeed, M., Saleh, D. (2019). The urban regeneration of west-bay, business district of Doha (State of Qatar): A transit-oriented development enhancing livability, Journal of Urban Management, 8(1), 126-144, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jum.2018.10.001

He, H.M., Chen, Y., Xiao, J.Y., Chen, X.Q., Lee, Z.J. (2021). Data analysis on the influencing factors of the real estate price. Artificial Intelligence Evolution, 2(2), 52-66, https://doi.org/10.37256/aie.222021966

Ibrahim H., Salama A., Wiedmann F., Awwad R., Aboukalloub, B. (2019). Investigating housing distribution for the expatriate population in Doha, Urban, Planning and Transport Research, 7(1), 34-52, https://doi.org/10.1080/21650020.2019.1635520

Jacobs, J. (1960). The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books

Khalil, R.S. (2012). Rebuilding Old Downtowns: the Case of Doha, Qatar. REAL CORP 2012 Conference- 17th International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society, Schwechat, Austria. https://doi.org/10.13140/2.1.3296.1600, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269070154_Rebuilding_Old_Downtowns_the_Case_of_Doha_Qatar.

Marthya, K.L., Major, M.D. (2022). Real Estate Market Trends in the First New Urbanist Town: Seaside, Florida, Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability,1-22. https://doi.org/10.1080/17549175.2022.2071966

Msheireb Properties (2022). Msheireb Downtown Doha Catalogue. Doha, Qatar: Msheireb Properties. Accessed 3 May 2023 at https://www.msheirebproperties.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Msheireb-Downtown-Doha-Catalogue.pdf

Numbeo (2022). Cost of Living in Qatar, Prices in Qatar (Updated May 2022). Accessed 3 May 2022 at https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Qatar

Qaoud R., Kamal, Y., Djamal, A. (2022). Effect of A High-Density Street-Level on Air Temperature in Outdoor Space of Neighborhoods of Hot, Dry Cities. 5th International Conference of Contemporary Affairs in Architecture and Urbanism (ICCAUA-2022) Conference Proceedings Book, 5(1). 317-326. Alanya HEP University, Alanya, Turkey: Municipality of Alanya: https://doi.org/10.38027/ICCAUA2022EN0069

Qatar Planning and Statistics Authority (2020). Access 3 May 2022 at https://mpmdd.com/documents/20143/251750/MDD+Residential+Presentation.pdf/0494 3e8c-0f79-f719-d811-948c1d3ddd8a

Rizzo, A. (2014). Rapid urban development and national master planning in Arab Gulf countries. Qatar as a case study. Cities, 39, 50-57, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2014.02.005

Scharfenort, N. (2012). Urban Development and Social Change in Qatar: The Qatar National Vision 2030 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Journal of Arabian Studies, 2:2, 209-230, https://doi.org/10.1080/21534764.2012.736204

Tannous, H.O., Al-Obaidan, M., Major, M.D. (2021). Past Traditionalism, Present Modernism, and the New Qatari Regionalism: Architectural Vocabularies over Time in Qatar. 18th Annual International Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA) Co Conference, 11-13 November 2021, Loughborough University. United Kingdom.

Wickramaarachchi, N. (2016). Determinants of rental value for residential properties: A landowner’s perspective for boarding homes. Built-Environment Sri Lanka, 12(1), https://doi.org/10.4038/besl.v12i1.7612

Wiedmann F., Salama AM., Thierstein A. (2012). Urban Evolution Of The City Of Doha: An Investigation Into The Impact Of Economic Transformations On Urban Structures. METU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, Turkey, https://doi.org/10.4305/metu.jfa.2012.2.2

Wiedmann, F., Salama, A.M. (2013). From Pre-Oil Settlement to Post-Oil Hub: The Urban Transformation of Doha. International Journal of Architectural Research (Archnet-IJAR), 7(2), 146-159. https://doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v7i2.162




How to Cite

Aliyar, A. K., Major, M. D., Tannous, H. O., & Al-Esmail, F. R. A. (2023). Urban Form and Real Estate Value in Msheireb Downtown Doha, Qatar . Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, 7(1), 224–241. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2023.v7n1-15