Qatari group unveils $823m giant mall project
Doha, May 21, 2013
Qatar-based UrbaCon Trading and Contracting (UCC) is developing a mammoth mall project, the Mall of Qatar, in Doha at a cost of over QR3 billion ($823.2 million) which will feature more than 400 stores, fine dining and world class entertainment.
Unveiling the project plans, the developer UCC said the construction on one of the region’s leading shopping and leisure destinations has been underway since 2012 and is proceeding as per schedule. The opening is planned for the third quarter of 2015, with an estimated 20 million customers anticipated annually.
Conveniently located at the intersection of Al Rayyan Highway and Celebration Road, the project is adjacent to the popular Al Rayyan Sports Club and a future FIFA 2022 World Cup Stadium. And once completed it will become “The Place To Be” for local residents and visitors alike, said the developer.
A dedicated Metro Station integrated into the mall, as part of Doha’s new transportation system, will give all of Doha and surrounding regions unrivalled access to the Mall of Qatar, said a top UCC official.
Over 162,000 sq m of retail leasable space on three levels will make it one of Qatar’s largest shopping and entertainment destinations. In addition to the Metro, the project will provide spacious parking for over 7,000 cars in its brightly-lit underground and lushly landscaped surface and preferred valet parking lots.
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.
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 breathtaking four storey high, central amphitheatre with a massive domed roof, called the Oasis, said the developer.
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.
"When completed the Mall will be a world-class retail, sports and entertainment destination promising a new experience at every visit that is conveniently located and easily accessed and set to become “The-Place-To-Be for the best Shopping and Leisure Time Experience in Qatar,” remarked Shem Krey, the deputy managing director, Mall of Qatar.
"We are launching the Mall of Qatar at a time when there is clearly enormous untapped demand for quality integrated shopping, dining and entertainment facilities in the country," he stated.
"Our research has shown there is a significant amount of capacity that has to be met in the retail area and our Mall will be a major step in fulfilling demand.The Mall of Qatar is also geared towards helping the broader economic growth and prosperity of the country," he added.
Spread over a building area which is the equivalent size of 50 FIFA football pitches, 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.
In addition, unique children’s wear, popular price and young urban lifestyle brands will be clustered into districts creating synergy between retailers and providing the maximum in customer convenience.
The Mall of Qatar has also been designed to provide the ultimate luxury shopping experience. 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.
According to Krey, a major luxury brand hotel is being 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," he stated.
Krey said in the first year, the mall was anticipating over 20 million 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 and engage the consumer," he noted.
"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 future FIFA World Cup Stadium. A light rapid rail link to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are already planned and the potential of a sports village, a vibrant mixed used residential/entertainment district and biosphere attraction are being considered," he added.
UrbaCon Trading and Contracting, which is developing, managing the design and construction of the complex, will also operate the Mall for the owner.
The total funding for the project has been secured from Qatar National Bank. This is a substantial project that has secured major funding to ensure it is built to the very highest standards that will provide the very best facilities for local residents and visitors.
The Mall of Qatar has been designed by internationally acclaimed architects Chapman Taylor and KEO. McArthur +Company, the world renowned retail specialists, have been selected to market and lease the mall.
The Mall of Qatar will make its debut at Cityscape Qatar to be held from May 27 to 29 at the Doha Exhibition Centre. Also an official retailer launch event is being planned for October at the Museum of Islamic Art.-TradeArabia News Service
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