Doha mall closes to upgrade safety system

Aamal City Center closure part of move to improve standards after Villaggio tragedy
Doha mall closes to upgrade safety system
19 were killed at a fire at Dohas Villaggio Mall.
By Shane McGinley
Thu 21 Jun 2012 12:24 PM

A Doha mall has been shut in order to upgrade its safety
system, part of a move by Qatar's authorities to improve standards following
the fire at Villaggio Mall, which killed 19 people, it has been reported.

Aamal City Center mall in the Qatari capital of Doha has
been closed due to faults in its safety system and no date has been revealed
for its reopening, The Peninsula newspaper said without revealing its source.

The move comes as hotels and commercial sites in Doha are
implementing new safety measures following the fire at Villaggio Mall, which
killed 19 people.

Several budget hotels have closed in a bid to implement
“effective safety solutions” and will reopen following clearance from the Civil
Defence Department, Qatar Daily Gulf Times said.

The increased safety measures follow several days after
it emerged that an electrical fault caused the deadly fire at the Villaggio
Mall, which killed 13 children including two-year old triplets.

Investigators found a “lack of adherence to laws,
systems, and measures by all concerned parties to different degrees. This
includes adherence to design, license and safety conditions, which contributed
to the Villaggio catastrophe,” according to a report released last week.

At least five people were arrested as part of the probe,
including the daughter of Qatar’s Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage.

Iman Al-Kuwari, who ran the Gympanzee childcare facility
in the retail centre, was arrested along with the mall’s manager, assistant
manager and the assistant director of security.

Villaggio, a 360,000 sq m retail centre, opened in 2006.
It was named one of the world’s most luxurious malls by Forbes magazine in
2008.

The centre featured 220 retail, entertainment and dining
outlets.

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