DOHA: The Qatar government has announced plans to build a massive 6.3 square kilometer logistics and industrial park in southern Qatar.

Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani said the project is aimed at making the country a regional hub for investment and logistics, reducing reliance on hydrocarbon income, and encouraging private sector commercial involvement.

The development will provide over 1,500 plots of land in South Wakra, Birkat Al Awamer and Aba Saleel - areas close to Hamad Port, the Mesaieed Industrial City and the country's Orbital Highway.

Logistics park QatarSheikh Abdullah said his government is committed to the development and diversification of the Qatari economy via major private and public sector projects. He added that the country's southern region would lead the strategy and "change the map of investments in the State of Qatar".

According to the country's official news agency, the logistics park will include refrigerated facilities for frozen and dry stores; showrooms, shops, commercial offices and labor camps; workshops for the maintenance and storage of cars; assembly and processing workshops for light industry; service centers and warehousing.

Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani explained that small investors were at the heart of the new enterprise and have been allocated nearly two-thirds of the total land available.

The government has not announced a completion date for the project.

In related news, Qatar Airways Cargo will operate a Boeing-converted 747-400 freighter from August 01 for two months prior to the acquisition in October of a B747-400F with a nose-loading door.

Airline cargo head Ulrich Ogiermann commented: "Qatar Airways Cargo is experiencing increased worldwide demand for quality charter services as well as growing local demand with significant infrastructure projects under way in Qatar that require outsized cargo capacity. The addition of the B747 freighter will also provide greater flexibility to our global network by supplementing our existing scheduled services as and when required."