Doha will rival Dubai as the Gulf's top shopping hub - Qatar mall boss

Some of country's $200bn 2022 World Cup investment will go into private sector says Mall of Qatar executive

Mall of Qatar is about 30 percent into construction with completion is pegged for September 2015

Mall of Qatar is about 30 percent into construction with completion is pegged for September 2015

Qatar has the potential to rival Dubai as a destination shopping hub, according to one of the executives spearheading the $820m Mall of Qatar project.

Mall of Qatar deputy managing director Shem Krey said while Doha had some way to go before it surpassed Dubai, which had faster population growth, it was currently under-supplied for regional, large-scale malls and therefore had enormous growth potential.

However he said he wanted Qatar to challenge Dubai’s reign as the leading shopping hub in the region.

"A number of features are going on in the entire country right now, which will make it a much greater destination," he told Arabian Business at the Cityscape Global property exhibition in Dubai.

"The $200bn which is going to be spent over the next 10 years [to stage the 2022 World Cup]... people think that's all going into roads and infrastructure. It's not, a good share of that is going into private investment and enhancing the destination of the whole country.

"Companies are building resorts and more hotels and of course what's happening with the museum authority is really exciting now."

The 400,000 square metre mall will comprise 400 shops, including 50 luxury brands and four department stores, as well as a fashion-themed hotel.

Located next to one of the seven planned 2022 World Cup stadiums and within the Al Rayyan Gate master planned community, it will cost $820m to build, with Krey expecting shops to invest a further QR1bn ($274.63m) in fit outs.

Krey said it was about 30 percent into construction with completion pegged for September 2015.

At Cityscape to pursue the holding companies which controlled major retail brands in the Gulf, Krey said the fashion-themed hotel was also a key feature.

The 260-room, five-star hotel, which is expected to open six months after the mall is finished, will be managed by a yet to be announced hotel operator. Elements would also be designed by fashion designers, with further details to be revealed in about six months, Krey said.

He said it was part of tapping into Qatar's thirst for fashion.

The Qatar royal family and other Qatari-based interests have been behind the unprecedented buy-up of global fashion brands.

"The idea is to create events and planning that works both with the hotel and the fashion shops to promote the brands and also have the venue for places where people can stay overnight and enjoy events, fashion shows and other special conferences," he said.

Krey said since launching the mall in May there had been "an excessive amount of excitement" with offers and negotiations ongoing for more than 50 percent of the retail space.

"Those offers will be finalised and we'll be able to announce those major tenants by the end of this year already," he said.

He said as well as the five spaces for department stores of 5000sqm or more, there was also a 10,000sqm hypermarket space and 8,000sqm family entertainment centre.

While declining to give names, he confirmed some of the key tenants would be international brands new to the region.

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Posted by: Charlie

Doha can never be equal to Dubai or it can never rival Dubai, because Dubai simply is the Best in the whole GCC.

It goes to the others GCC city that may attempt to rival Dubai. There are lots of things, events, ambience, etc. in Dubai that can never be replicated in other GCC Cities and no way the Dubai experience will be the same in other, no way.

Dubai simply the best. Why is this so, oh it is a big story that only a visit, stay or work in Dubai and you will find the answer.

I said this because I work in Dubai more than four years. I also work in Doha more than four years, I also work in KSA more than four years.

Posted by: M A Khan

Qatar has to learn a lot from Dubai & at least match 50% then rival for everything. Priority would be Rules, Efficiency, Planning, Execution, Discipline etc.

Posted by: Asad Hafeez

Where on earth do they come up with all this. It is like story of Aladdin just dream and wish. Even the genie in the lamp would give up or loose some serious weight.

I am at a loss for words ... as if Qatar is not having enough issues to deal with - opening of the new Airport terminal, hosting World Cup 2022, managing basic infrastructure etc. Another one bites the dust.

Posted by: Jassim

Unfortunately, Qatar has a very narrow vision with regards to tourism. They imitate Dubai so blindly. Dubai has a shopping festival, Qatar decided to have one. Eid in Dubai, Qatar followed. Big mall in Dubai, Qatar wants bigger. No one believes in a copier. focus on what you're good at, Education, health, sports....I would say Media too once Al Jazeera becomes a news agency again.

Posted by: marwan

this must be april joke but as without the haha , qatar well rival dubai as shopping hub.let me them in qatar that new york and paris and milan couldnt rival dubai and u could?fix ur streets first then talk about rivaling the second best shopping hub in the world

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