Two years ahead of it’s scheduled opening, a FIFA World Cup-themed shopping mall in Doha has attracted tremendous interest from some of the world’s biggest retailers.
Covering an area equivalent to 50 football pitches, the Mall of Qatar is being developed next to the 2022 World Cup venue. Being built at a cost of about 3 billion Qatari rials, the mall is expected to begin welcoming shoppers in September of 2015. The mall will feature 400 luxury stores and hypermarkets, fine dining and entertainment options. The mall will also have it’s own dedicated metro station stop.
According to Shem Krey; “There are very large holding companies which control many of the brands. We have already tapped all of those and have received several letters of interest already. There has been an extreme amount of interest for the companies to participate with us.” — Shem Krey, the deputy managing director for the Mall of Qatar
The project is part of a mixed-use site that includes the Al Rayyan Sports Club, a future World Cup Stadium and a luxury hotel. The developers are also exploring other ideas with stakeholders before making any further official announcements.
After the opening of Mall of Qatar, the Doha Festival City will also be launched in the first quarter of 2016. The city will feature 260,000 square metres of gross leasable area. The project will be owned and developed by Bawabat Al-Shamal Real Estate, which is a partnership between Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Real Estate Services, Qatar Islamic Bank, Aqar Real Estate Development & Investment and a private Qatari investor.
While the Doha Festival City is likely to pose some competition to the mall, the growing demand for a quality shopping experience in the city will provide ample opportunity for both projects.