Posted on May 19, 2015

Mall of Qatar’s GM, Rony Mourani, spoke out at the Retail Intelligence Panel Discussion on the second day of the 2015 Cityscape Real Estate Summit at the Doha Exhibition Centre, on taking on the threat of oversupply and selecting the right location, explaining how Mall of Qatar studied the market to identify what was lacking in the Qatar retail landscape. Creating a super-regional mall like Mall of Qatar, due to open in the first quarter of 2016, presented both challenges and opportunities for today and the future, Mourani said.

He added, “There is no such thing as shopping for the majority of shoppers, it’s the excitement of going somewhere on the weekend or evenings where everything is under one roof, including a ‘fun factor’. To provide this, live entertainment is going to be our main attraction and makes us different from all other malls. We’re planning major entertainment concepts, including a Cirque style resident performing troupe interspersed with well-known international acts and shows from all over the world on a daily basis on the Oasis rotating stage lift– the first professional stage of its kind in a mall in the world.”

Another ‘first’ for Qatar would include the world’s largest IMAX 3D laser projection system in the Mall’s 19 screen cinema complex complete with six VIP screens offering in theatre-dining.

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Mourani went on to explain Mall of Qatar’s approach: ”We wanted to create a full day’s experience from the actual journey and access to the Mall with a new highway and interchange being built as well as a metro station, to persuade shoppers to come to our Mall. This involved creating a massive Mall with a ‘wow factor’ design for the 21st century with all the services and facilities people would expect as well as new surprises. We wanted to cater for clientele from every sector - value, mid-market and luxury markets - so there is something to appeal to everyone. It became very important that we had at least 25% of first time brands for Qatar and that 30% of the Mall would offer F&B and family entertainment.”

He concluded that it was all about the visitor’s entire experience from easy access to ample parking, mall-wide entertainment to a wide range of dining options as well as high quality new international brands presenting new designs not seen before for the Mall to create an exciting fresh destination.

Phil McArthur, Managing Director of McArthur + Company, shopping centre leasing specialists for the Mall, said: “Consumers want more from their mall experience than simply shopping. Featuring daily professional entertainment troupes is a unique and innovative idea that is bound to make the mall visit lively and stimulating. This is something that’s missing in Qatar. Mall of Qatar has identified this key element that will distinguish it from other malls.”