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.
Mall of Qatar Set to Open in 2015
The QR3 billion Mall of Qatar is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2015, developer UrbaCon Trading & Contracting (UCC) announced in a press conference held on 21 May 2013. Construction on the project has been underway since 2012 and is proceeding on schedule. The mall is expected to welcome an estimated 20 million customers annually.
Located at the intersection of Al Rayyan Highway and Celebration Road, the project is adjacent to Al Rayyan Sports Club and a future FIFA 2022 World Cup Stadium. A dedicated Metro Station integrated into the mall, as part of Doha’s new transportation system, will give all of Doha and surrounding regions access to the Mall of Qatar.
The mall is set to feature over 162,000 square meters of retail leasable space on three levels and a spacious parking for over 7,000 cars. One of the major distinguishing architectural features of the Mall of Qatar is a three storey high sophisticated urban-lifestyle market place running the full length of the center spine. The area which is three football fields long, with vaulted glass ceiling, opens out into a four storey high, central amphitheatre with a massive domed roof, called the Oasis.
The Oasis will feature themed restaurants, fine dining and fun food experiences on all sides, family entertainment and multiplex cinemas, and is the area designated as the heart of the project. Unique water features, natural landscaping, sidewalk cafes and live entertainment programmed here nightly and in multiple other venues throughout the mall will make this the place to be and be seen.
The Mall will have a major hypermarket, five department stores, 20 international restaurants and an indoor streetscape with double height flagship stores from across the globe.
A two level luxury court at the south end of the complex will have individually articulated shop fronts interspersed with indoor/outdoor cafes and patios and a premium concierge lounge. A major luxury brand hotel is planned, as well as a signature restaurant on the outside surrounded by terraces overlooking the luxury court. The exterior of the whole mall will be animated with storefronts, cafes and extensive landscaping to connect to customers as soon as they drive in.
The Mall of Qatar is being introduced for the first time to the public at Cityscape Qatar, to be held at Doha Exhibition Centre from 27 May to 29 May 2013 and an Official Retailer Launch Event is planned for October 2013 at the Museum of Islamic Art.
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