The Business Year

Given their huge and time-tested consumer appeal, companies are competing to provide the best retail and entertainment offerings.

Stuart Elder

CEO, Mall of Qatar

We are proud of our position as the premier shopping destination in Qatar. We are the mall that everyone should want to be in from a retail perspective. We are also the mall that has the ability to deliver everything our customers want. We were the first mall in Qatar to introduce gift cards because our customers told us they wanted this. In addition, we have the biggest cinema complex in Qatar, as well as Kidz Mondo and Xtremeland. We are opening an outlet with a trampoline-based operator and VR-based operator in 2019 to add to our entertainment offerings and to meet the demand for teenage entertainment. We have 100 F&B outlets at Mall of Qatar ranging from food court to fine dining. We also have a hotel where people can stay for the weekend to shop, enjoy the entertainment, meet with friends and family, and go out for dinner. Shopping centers globally have become a focal point for communities; they need to be more than just stores. Mall of Qatar has always been more than just stores, and we are now looking at how we can expand it to the next level. It is about getting to the point where we are the one place people want to be.

Kareem Shamma

CEO, Doha Festival City (DHFC)

2018 was an extremely busy year. We opened the mall with 140 stores trading, and within a year reached 375. More than doubling the number of trading units during the first year of operations is a fantastic achievement. Despite being a new entrant to the entertainment and retail destination market, Doha Festival City has been able to position itself as the number-one mall in Qatar. We have not reached the full potential of this project yet, as we are just about to open the first of our four theme parks, and this huge entertainment component sets us apart from other malls. DHFC is much more than just a retail destination because it offers a holistic retail and entertainment venue that will include shopping, dining, places to stay, and conference facilities. We will open the entertainment components progressively in 2018, with the opening of the first indoor theme park—Angry Birds World. The next opening will be Virtuocity, a theme park focused on popular gaming concepts presented in a 3D environment. There is a real competitive element woven through all the entertainment at DHFC that ensures repeat visits, which is key. After that, Qatar’s first snow park will be open, with real snow slopes, and a variety of other attractions, adding a valuable asset to Qatar’s entertainment landscape.

Mohammed A.K. Al Emadi

CEO, Mohammed A.K. Al Emadi

The idea was to combine classic European architecture with the highest levels of client service and focus existing in Arab culture. When guests come to Al Hazm, they are impressed by the design and delighted by the excellent services provided by the brands available at our destination. The idea was conceived from the desire to put together a new concept not found in Qatar, which clearly entails risks. However, people appreciate it, and Al Hazm is now a destination that adds value to Qatar, being one of the top things to do in the country. The project counted on the support of the government, as Al Hazm fully aligns with the vision of the country. Additionally, most of the group companies were established to support the Al Hazm project and eventually enter the market as specialized providers of their products or services. One of the reasons why we established our own support companies was quality. We wanted to ensure the best quality and service for the Al Hazm project. Our group is extremely open, though a project like Al Hazm requires us to ensure the quality of buildings, construction, and architecture is of a high standard. We want to ensure that we have the best restaurants, brands, and customer service in the future. We are working to bring in not only visitor traffic, but the right visitor traffic.

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