By Andy Sambidge
Retail franchise operator signs agreement with backers of Doha Festival City project
The backers behind the $1.6bn Doha Festival City project have announced a strategic anchor tenancy agreement with the Kuwait-based retail giant MH Alshaya Co.
The agreement with the international retail franchise operator will see Alshaya bring around 50 well-known brands to the new retail, entertainment and leisure complex currently under construction in Doha by Bawabat Al-Shamal Real Estate Co (BASREC).
A signing ceremony in Dubai between Omar Al Futtaim, vice chairman, Al-Futtaim, the part owners of Basrec through Al Futtaim Real Estate Services (AFRES), and Mohammed Alshaya, executive chairman of Alshaya, was formalised the partnership.
Alshaya, which is the franchise operator for some of the world's best known retail brands, plans to open stores for the likes of H&M, Debenhams, Mothercare, Topshop, Starbucks, Bath & Body Works, Shake Shack, Pinkberry and Pottery Barn.
In total Alshaya stores will cover a combined area of approximately 25,000 square metres, it said in a statement.
Mohammed Alshaya said: "We are delighted to extend our association with Al-Futtaim, a group that we have worked with successfully for many years.
"Doha is a vibrant city with a brand savvy population who love the international brands we operate. We are confident that Doha Festival City will be an exciting addition to Doha's retail mix and look forward to bringing some innovative and iconic brands to Qatar's capital."
Omar Al-Futtaim added: "As with all the malls we develop, we strive to create an environment that brings the best brands and the widest choice to our customers. Through our strategic anchor agreement with Alshaya we look forward to supporting that goal at Doha Festival City."
It was reported this week that the second phase of the $1.6bn Doha Festival City mega-project has begun, with a completion date of 2016 slated.
A groundbreaking ceremony presided over by senior officials and representatives of the mixed-use development north of downtown Doha took place earlier this week.
It followed last month's opening of IKEA - part of the development's first phase.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.