(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula
Doha: Qatar's One and Only International Mall of Choice, Doha Festival City continues to welcome local and international visitors and cater for their diverse tastes during football season.
In an interview with The Peninsula, Doha Festival City's General Manager Robert Hall talked about the Mall's preparations for the upcoming football season, the Mall's role in promoting Qatar as a touristic destination, and the Mall's expansion plans.
He said:“We are delighted to be part of this historic moment in Qatar and the region. As a business, we are aligned with the tourism pillar of Qatar 2030 National Vision, and we are committed to present exemplary services to Qatar's visitors.Since our establishment, we are positioned as a destination mall promoting Qatar as tourism and shopping destination inviting people to enjoy a full experience.”“Qatar is a very Instagrammable destination,” he said.
Hall expects that people's positive experience with Qatar's ease of commute, vast tourism offerings, and overall safety will inspire more people to visit the country even after the international tournament.
As for international visitors who arrived in Doha since the beginning of the football season, Hall is positive that they are enjoying a unique shopping experience where they can see familiar brands from their countries and get to know local brands that would make great gifts to take back home.
Hall expects Qatar to reap more rewards from resultant international publicity even beyond tourism. “Qatar has always been very well positioned internationally in its relationships across the world. The cleanliness, safety, and diversity in the country can easily attract foreign investments in years to come,” he said. As the Gulf state is welcoming more than a million fans to outpour into the region, the mall is exultantly prepared to engage with a very diverse public. Hall said:“As the matches are on, shopping would be secondary to the football. Nevertheless, we have designed activations and spaces that would allow football fans to engage with the games while enjoying their time at the Mall. We promise our visitors and guests that they will not miss out on football fever while shopping, dining, and enjoying the exciting entertainment options at Doha Festival City.
Moreover, the mall retailers and outlets prepared special collections to mark the occasion.”
Doha Festival City launched its #WorldLetsMeet taking place between the 17th of November and 18th December. Between 4 PM and 12 midnight daily, the programme in the Mall's Centre Court boasts a series of world-class live entertainment and football-centric activities with an aim to offer visitors an engaging experience.
The main stage of the Centre Court is showcasing an impressive line-up of multicultural performances featuring traditional dances, juggling and balancing acts, magic tricks, a robot show and freestyling at 5PM, 7PM and 9PM. International guests will especially enjoy local and regional performances such as a Qatari Ardha, a Palestinian Dabke, a Lebanese Dabke, a Tanoura dance, a Morrocan Band, among many others.
In addition, the Mall is buzzing with activities and parades such as mascots and princess costumes, foosball table games, seated football games, PlayStation games, arcade games, and face painting, offering visitors from Qatar and across the globe memorable moments.
“There is an outdoors lively zone with football-centred activations, match viewings, and F&B offerings,” he added.
At Doha Festival City Arena - outside the Luxury Area, football fans can watch the games outdoors in a lively atmosphere full of gaming activities, and enjoy refreshments from Oak Berry, Cup of Joe, and IKEA. Entry to the Arena is free but prior reservation is required through Doha Festival City's Festival Rewards application.
Doha Festival City offers an eclectic mix of 550 dining options and stores representing 44 brands. The Mall is committed to offering visitors a wide selection that cater to different tastes and age groups.
Numerous shopping and dining retailers have joined the state-of-the-art mall since the beginning of the year. Hall mentioned that“We have enjoyed a significant increase in the number of new entrants in the market. Thirteen of our stores are new to the Qatari market. So far this year we have opened 38 new stores and we are expecting to open 16 more by the end of the year.”
At 97 percent capacity, the Mall has been successful in attracting local, regional, and international brands. When discussing the Mall's vetting process for new retailers,“we seek brands that have an ethical standing and operate ethically.” The mall places high value on sustainability and sound environmental practices.
Doha Festival City expanded its working hours to accommodate visitors before and after matches. The Mall provides essential information on opening hours, mall listings, and entertainment schedules on its app, website, and social media platforms.