The Pearl-Qatar is all set to become a major lifestyle shopping destination with several shops set to open by the end of the year. Cugini, the first boutique on the man-made island, was launched yesterday, paving way for some 70 exclusive stores to open to welcome the New Year.
“Cugini is just the inaugural store on the island,” said Eric Lebrum, TPQ Executive Vice President Asset Management, Pearl-Qatar. “In a few weeks, famous luxury names like Armani, Hermes and many more will open, bringing a whole new shopping atmosphere to Qatar. The environment of the island gives this exclusivity for luxury brands.”
The opening of these shops in Qatar indicates the global financial crisis has not had any impact here. “There is no change in both the retail and residential packages on the Island. The construction and the bookings are going fine. There is good response for any apartment at the island. All the details of the island were planned much ahead, so everything is going fine,” Lebrum told The Peninsula.
The island is receiving many visitors daily. Availability of top brands later this season can make the island a major shopping destination in Qatar, said a promoter.
“With Christmas and the festive atmosphere in Qatar, this is the right time for opening,” said Heba Mohammad Al Okar, the owner of Cugini in Qatar. “New fashion lines are coming round the world and Doha is an emerging market. Hence we planned that Doha should be our second stop. We got an overwhelming response in Saudi Arabia, which inspired us to look for new markets.”
Cugini stores were founded in Saudi Arabia in 2006 by two cousins, Thuraya and Abeer bin Ladin, and hence the name (Cugini is Italian for cousins). Inspired by famous boutiques round the world, the store strives to achieve Parisian chic in Middle East style.
“Qatar has high potential and is set for more growth and expansion in the future. There is space for more brands here,” she told The Peninsula.
“We select the top fashion brands from around the world, mainly from France. We look for new and the best designs and designers and thus try to become trendsetters here. Added to this, we have brands which are exclusive to us. Most of our collections are hand-picked by experts. In this way, we guarantee the customers cutting-edge fashion designs,” said Al Okar.
“The object of Pearl Qatar was to create this environment,” said Hussam Ahmed, GM of Retail at The Pearl Qatar. “Now it is looked at as an international lifestyle destination with residential, retail and hotel space. With the best style, the best merchandise, the island will become number one in the region in terms of lifestyle.”
A festive Christmas market opened on the Boardwalk of Porto Arabia last week.
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