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13 April 2016 04:32 pm

Doha Festival City delays public opening

Debz
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Doha Festival City

One of Qatar’s biggest under-construction malls has pushed back its opening date by four months, due to issues with the “supporting infrastructure,” the chief executive of Doha Festival City said today.

 

The mall, which is north of Doha on Al Shamal Road, had previously planned to open its doors to the public this fall on Sept. 29.

 

Kareem Shamma, the CEO of the mall’s owner and developer BASREC, in February said that he was confident of meeting that deadline and that there was a “day-to-day plan” in place to ensure the facility would be finished and ready to welcome its first customers.

 

However, Shamma said today that while the construction of the mall would still be finished by the end of September, the completion of other infrastructure would not meet that deadline.

 

Speaking to Doha News, he said, “The decision (to delay opening) had to be made to give the retailers and the customers the best possible experience. Will they get that best possible experience at the end of September with the current infrastructure? No.”

 

Shamma declined to give details about which part of the infrastructure had caused the delays, adding: “There are factors outside of our control – the supporting infrastructure that we don’t have control over.”

 

Shamma described his relationship with the Qatar government, which runs the roads, telecoms and utilities operators, as having been “great” this far. “I’m not going to put the blame on one authority or another. They (the government) have a very difficult situation on their hands with the massive amount of development going on in the country,” he added.

 

All the mall’s retailers have already been told of the delay. “They have been very supportive, Shamma said, adding that there has been no need to compensate stores for the later opening.