Qatar’s booming retail landscape has got a major new player with the Mall of Qatar yesterday announcing plans to create a “vibrant new regional shopping destination”, featuring over 400 stores, fine dining and world-class entertainment.
Work on the QR3bn project being developed by UrbaCon Trading and Contracting, and underway since 2012, is proceeding on schedule for a September 2015 opening at the intersection of Al Rayyan Highway and Celebration Road.
“Our research has shown there is currently a huge untapped demand for quality, integrated shopping, dining and entertainment in the country,” Shem Krey, deputy managing director, Mall of Qatar, said.
The project is adjacent to Al Rayyan Sports Club and a proposed FIFA 2022 World Cup Stadium. Celebration of Qatar’s FIFA World Cup theme is planned to be a significant part of the design element throughout the Mall of Qatar as a lasting legacy.
“When complete, the Mall of Qatar will cover over 4mn sq ft and will be one of the biggest shopping malls in the country,” claimed Donald Weir, general manager.
A key architectural feature of the Mall of Qatar is a three-storey high urban-lifestyle market place running the full length of the centre spine.
“This area, which is three football fields long, with vaulted glass ceiling, opens out into a breathtaking four-storey high, central amphitheatre with a massive domed roof, the Oasis, the heart of the project,” Weir explained.
The Oasis will feature themed restaurants, fine dining and fun food experiences on all sides, family entertainment, multiplex cinemas, unique water features, natural landscaping, sidewalk cafes and nightly live entertainment.
Spread over a building area equivalent to the size of 50 FIFA football pitches, the Mall of Qatar will have a major hypermarket, five department stores, 20 international restaurants and an indoor streetscape with double height flagship stores from across the globe. In addition, children’s wear, and popular urban lifestyle brands will be clustered into districts.
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.
Krey revealed that 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.
“In the first year, we are anticipating more than 20mn visitors to enjoy what will be a superior international destination for retail, leisure and entertainment with something to offer every member of the family. It will be a new lifestyle destination that will energise tourism,” he said.
The developers of the mall are working with officials on a master-planned community integrating the project into its surroundings and establishing a strong connection with Al Rayyan Sports Club and the proposed FIFA World Cup Stadium.
UrbaCon Trading and Contracting, which is developing, managing the design and construction of the complex, will operate the Mall of Qatar for the owner. The total project, which is in excess of QR3bn, has been secured with funding from Qatar National Bank.
The Mall of Qatar has been designed by globally-acclaimed architects Chapman Taylor and KEO. McArthur + Company, the world renowned retail specialists, which will market and lease the project, was represented at yesterday’s announcement by Furqan Athar.
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