While the impending reopening of Villaggio Mall is yet to be confirmed by the management, the news, reported in a section of the media, has stirred mixed feelings among the people.
Almost everyone said they would be happy to see the premium mall reopening and putting the tragic incident behind but added that they also wanted to be sure it was safe. Doha News website reported the facility, closed after a devastating fire claimed 19 lives on May 28, may reopen by the middle of the month. Some local dailies put the date closer to Eid.
People contacted by Qatar Tribune pointed out the reopening would certainly mean relief from the increased rush and parking problems faced at the two other major malls (Landmark and City Center) due to the extra load following the closing of Villaggio.
A Qatari who works for Qatari Diar said, “If required clearances have been received from the government, Villaggio should be opened. Otherwise, they should complete the procedures first. Delay is not an issue in this case, safety is. We are not excited for the place to open if it’s not safe and secure.” Jane Smith, an American expatriate echoed him when she said, “For more than two months now that it has been closed, we avoided going to malls because of the rush.
But for me it doesn’t matter how long Villaggio will remain closed as long as it ensures compliance with the highest level of safety standard for a public place. As a parent, I will forever be reminded that 13 children lost their lives in that mall. But I trust that its management and the Qatari authorities have learned whatever there was to learn from the fire tragedy.” Indian expatriate Jayaram Komath shared the same sentiment.
He said, “It will be good to see the Villaggio buzzing with activity again. The mall is convenient because, you get many services under one roof which makes it a favourite outing for many families. The mall will still be associated with scary memories and I feel it is the responsibility of the mall…”
source: Qatar Tribune
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