Cirque du Soleil producers ink Qatar deal

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The producers behind Cirque du Soleil, the famous Canadian-based circus dance troupe which is part owned by Dubai World, have been signed on to create daily shows in the under construction Mall of Qatar, in what is believed to be a world first for a retail facility.

Mall of Qatar deputy managing director Shem Krey revealed the deal with the makers of the world's most famous circus troupe as he discussed ambitions for Qatar to be a rival to Dubai for destination shopping.

He said under the deal, they would provide about 25 shows that would happen as "vignettes" throughout the day with 30-40 minute performances staged at the Oasis four-storey domed roof space, with shorter shows on eight separate "rotundas" throughout the mall.

The performances could also be customised for retailers who may want to put on events, he said.

"Instead of building a large aquarium or a large fountain or a very large wow factor within the forum, which is about half the size of a football pitch, were going to have actual stage productions," he said.

"There's a complete family entertainment plan and complete family adaptation so that the mall isn't just for the shopping that you wish to do, but that there's also an attempt to entertain everyone within the family," he said.

"That requires a very specific mix and a very specific blend of both entertainment as well as shopping."

He added: "It's the first time to be done in a mall. But, if you go to some of the big outside boulevards in the world you'll see how the retail experience, especially in Europe and the United States, you'll see how the real experience is enhanced by the professional performers that are happening on an unregulated basis on the street and how that adds excitement for everybody.

"Well, this will be the same thing except it will be done professionally and organised."

In August 2009, Dubai World subsidiaries Nakheel and Istithmar World acquired a 20 percent stake in Cirque du Soleil, in a deal reportedly worth $600m.

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