Full-Service Treatment For The Family

Somerset West Bay Doha makes living in the desert conditions of Qatar a breeze for one Singaporean family

Issue: Apr 2011

Fazlur with family in apartment
Fazlur and his family has made Somerset West Bay Doha their second home

Singaporean Fazlur Rahman bin Kamsani has worked in the Middle East for the better part of this millennium. Since 2002, he has been traveling to the Gulf region for his work as an Islamic financing and real estate consultant. Since he knew the region so well, Fazlur didn’t hesitate to take up a permanent posting when he was offered a job as the director of real estate with Al Rayan Investment LLC in Doha, Qatar, in 2008. Although Qatar is in the Middle East where political unrest erupts frequently, political violence is rare in the country itself. "Qatar is the safest place in the Middle East and North Africa as the economy has been growing double digit over last few years with the highest per capita GDP of USD 140,000. The wealth of the country is distributed to the people and there's ample job opportunities for the locals and their family welfare is well-taken care of by the State. The government is also investing heavily into the local economy with government spending of USD 225 Billion over the next 5 years. As such, what's happening in the region is not expected here," said Fazlur. So, together with his wife, Su’ad, and three children (two girls aged 15 and 8 and son aged 13), he has made Doha his home for the last three years.

Exterior of Somerset West Bay Doha
CapitaLand as a trusted brand name is key to Fazlur selecting Somerset West Bay Doha as his home in the city

Somerset West Bay Doha – the natural choice

When it came to finding a residence for his family, Fazlur was just as decisive.

“I chose Somerset West Bay Doha because I have worked with the management of CapitaLand before and I trust the quality of their products and services. Besides, they are a familiar and respected brand name. They are from Singapore, so I can count on them,” said Fazlur.

Somerset West Bay Doha is operated by The Ascott Limited, CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence unit. When the family went to the development to pick their apartment from the 200 two and three-bedroom units, they were pleased with the range of selection. The fully furnished rooms with modern interiors, fittings and home entertainment systems; and fully-equipped kitchen were just what the family was looking for because it saved them the hassle of renovating and furnishing a new home. In the end, they picked a three-bedroom apartment to accommodate the whole family.

“We especially liked the fact that they had a maid’s room with attached bathroom because we had brought our Indonesian maid with us,” said Fazlur.

Making It Your Own

In addition, Somerset West Bay Doha takes every opportunity to make residents feel at home by letting them personalise the décor of their apartments. Fazlur’s family brought in their own furniture and accessories to make the apartment feel truly like home.

“I love books and I buy them from everywhere I went. So my wife bought me three cabinets for my collection so now I have my own library. I brought my own Osim chair from Singapore and we also put up a lot of pictures of our friends and family back home because we miss them so much,” said Fazlur. “The children have their own personal touches in their rooms as well. My son, for example, has a display cabinet for all his figurines and toys.”

Fazlur’s children
Fazlur’s children have made their room cozy by personalising their own corners of the room

In fact, his wife, Su'ad, has made every nook and cranny of the apartment her own with her personal touch.

Total Service, Complete Attention

Although the maid’s room was a welcome feature for Fazlur’s family, it was clear after a few months that they didn’t need the maid after all. Somerset West Bay Doha offers daily cleaning and laundry services, amongst the many services it provides.

“We realised that apart from helping my wife with the cooking, there was nothing else for the maid to do. So we decided to do without the maid,” said Fazlur.

Complimentary buffet breakfast for residents is another hotel-style service which the family appreciates.

“On weekdays the children have to go to school early so my wife usually makes them their breakfast. But on weekends, my family really enjoys bonding over the buffet breakfast,” said Fazlur.

Living in Somerset West Bay Doha also saves the family the hassle of managing and maintaining their home. From fixing light fixtures to plumbing problems, the serviced residence takes care of it all, all the time, any time.

“The staff is very responsive. So if you have any problems with the light or plumbing, even if it is in the middle of the night, they will attend to you when you call. They come almost immediately. They are literally just a call away,” said Fazlur.

A Community of Friends

The staff of Somerset West Bay Doha are so responsive to the needs of the residents that they have been extremely open to suggestions for organised activities.

National Day Celebration
An evening of fun with games and good company to celebrate Singapore’s National Day away from home

“Last National Day, I thought it would be good to organise a Singapore Night to celebrate National Day with the Singaporean friends in Qatar, the Singapore residents as well as the international community at Somerset West Bay Doha to help them understand our country better,” remembered Fazlur.

The staff not only helped to organise the event, they even put up a song and dance item in which they sang Singapore songs. It was a night of good food, great companionship and karaoke.

“We sang all the Singapore songs,” said Fazlur. “And the staff who came from the Philippines, Indonesia and the Middle East sang along, too!”

Recently, one Singaporean resident wanted to learn salsa dancing. The staff at Somerset West Bay Doha helped to turn a corner of the restaurant at the residence into a mini dance studio. The classes enjoyed a great turnout amongst residents as well as Singaporeans in Qatar.

Family on boat
Fazlur and his family enjoy outings organised by the serviced residence like taking boat rides as well as others like dune bashing which his family organises themselves

Somerset West Bay Doha also organises outings for its residents that the whole family can enjoy, like trips out to sea on the dhow, a traditional Arab boat.

Location, location, location

The fact that Somerset West Bay Doha sits in the heart of Doha’s Diplomatic Area at the north end of picturesque Corniche, near embassies, consulates and key government ministries and within walking distance of the City Centre mall makes it convenient for Fazlur and his family to go to work and school.

“My office is a 20-minute drive away. My children go to the International School of London just 15 minutes’ drive from home,” said Fazlur.

His three children are all enjoying the international community in the school. “There are over 60 different nationalities in their school. They have made good friends from Greece, Venezuela, Argentina and Germany so they are exposed to different national cultures. Our weekend calendar is full of birthday parties our children get invited to,” shared Fazlur.

Staying in Somerset West Bay Doha makes living abroad so hassle-free that Fazlur's family has plenty of time to explore the city on weekends.

“Qatar has such a great balance of modernity and history. We spend our weekends at their traditional bazaar downtown that is housed in a building with traditional Arabic architecture but has international restaurants in the front where we can dine al fresco,” said Fazlur. “Somerset West Bay Doha is truly my second home.”

Stay with us in Qatar…

Somerset West Bay Doha
Diplomatic Area, PO Box 26026, Doha, Qatar
Tel: (974) 4420 3333
Fax: (974) 4412 5790
Email: enquiry.doha@the-ascott.com

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