Shop Qatar vows retail therapy

Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and partners in travel, hospitality and retail sectors have announced a new festival titled, 'Shop Qatar'. The month-long event taking place from January 7 to February 7 this year, will feature Broadway musicals, live concerts, stand-up comedy and in-mall entertainment. Shop Qatar partners include Mall of Qatar, Qatar Airways and Ezdan World.

QTA organises a number of country-wide events including Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) and Qatar Summer Festival (QSF). Figures for March and August 2016, when these events were held this year, showed an increase in visitor arrivals, encouraging QTA officials to explore new events that support the performance of the country’s tourism sector.

Under the slogan ‘A Brand New Tradition’, the first edition of Shop Qatar will kick-off in January with discounts on popular brands, cash prizes worth up to $1 million, special offers on flights and hotel bookings, and a colourful schedule of entertainment featuring Cats the Broadway musical, live music concerts and 15 stand-up comedy acts.

Retail outlets around the country will be providing discounts of up to 50 per cent on a range of consumer goods including clothes, electronics, cosmetics and accessories for men, women and children. In addition to Mall of Qatar, which opened last week to become the largest shopping and entertainment hub in the nation, participating malls include Ezdan Mall, Hyatt Plaza, AlKhor Mall, Lagoona Mall, Gulf Mall, Landmark, Dar Al Salam Mall, The Gate and The Pearl-Qatar.

Rashed Al Qurese, chief marketing and promotion officer at QTA, explained why the time is ripe for Qatar to host this festival. 'Qatar enjoys a diverse retail sector, offering everything from luxury malls and high-end shopping promenades to entertainment-rich shopping centres, as well as authentic souks and bazaars. Shop Qatar will shed light on this rich offering and celebrate it with Qatar’s residents and visitors.'

Rashed added, 'Shop Qatar is also timed to fall within mid-year holidays for potential visitors in neighbouring countries, which are our largest source markets.'

In a move by QTA to support local entrepreneurs, Shop Qatar will also feature local products designed by students of Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar and other local designers, which will be displayed in a variety of pop-up stores throughout the participating malls. In addition, visitors can benefit from experts on the latest fashion and make-up trends through make-up tutorials which will be offered throughout the period of the festival and a fashion show during the final week.


To offer tourists the chance to conveniently travel, stay and shop in Qatar, QTA has partnered with Qatar Airways and popular hotel booking platforms to offer discounted air travel and tourist accommodation packages. Any flights to Qatar from within the GCC region booked on Qatar Airways for the period between the festival period will receive a 25 per cent discount. In addition, members of Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club will receive double Q-miles on their booking during Shop Qatar.


Organisers also confirmed that Shop Qatar will offer a rich array of live cultural shows, performances by singing sensations and unlimited family-friendly entertainment in a festive, safe environment that reflects local culture and heritage.

Cats, the longest-running show on Broadway, will show from February 1 to 4 at Qatar National Convention Centre. Tickets for the musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Weber will be available for purchase at Virgin Megastores outlets, starting at QR150 ($41) per ticket.

Two concerts that will feature Arab and Khaliji singers will take place on January 20 and January 27 at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center. Tickets cost QR120 ($33) to QR1,250 ($343).

The Doha Comedy Festival will be returning with an extensive line up of Khaliji, Arab, and international comedians, who will entertain audiences over a three-day fiesta of stand-up and humorous storytelling from February 2 to 4 at Qatar National Convention Centre. Tickets will be on sale at all Virgin Megastores outlets with ticket prices ranging from QR120 ($33) to QR1,000 ($275).

Participating retail partners will also host exclusive in-mall entertainment and roaming mall shows, with fun for the whole family.


Taking advantage of Qatar’s splendid winter weather, Shop Qatar has partnered with Ezdan World to offer a fun fair to visitors at the Magical Festival Village, which will be held beside Katara Cultural Village this winter.

The Village houses over 400 shopping outlets, dozens of cafes and restaurants, bordered by public seating areas where visitors can relax and enjoy the ambience and lovely climate.


Shoppers who spend QR200 ($55) at any of the participating retailers can enter a weekly raffle draw at Mall of Qatar for a chance to win cash prizes worth up to QR4 million ($1 million) to be won each week.

The draws will culminate in a mega-draw on the final day of Shop Qatar (February 7) where a jackpot prize of QR1,000,000 ($274,725) will be up for grabs, in addition to 14 other cash prizes.

Details of more events and activations will be announced during the course of the coming few weeks on the dedicated website and Shop Qatar social media accounts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


Doha Festival City to open next month

DOHA Festival City is set to open its doors in February 2017. Brining the best in leisure, retail and hospitality, the new mall will offer a gross building area that is equivalent to the size of 94 football pitches. The QR6.5 billion ($1.78 billion) mixed-use development will include the biggest mall in Qatar and one of the largest leisure and retail developments in the Gulf.

Bawabat Al-Shamal Real Estate Company, is the developer and owner of Doha Festival City. Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate will be the managers and operators of Doha Festival City.

Doha Festival City will feature indoor and outdoor attractions unique to Qatar. A mix of entertainment and leisure – from Qatar’s first VOX 4D cinema complex with 18 digital screens, to outdoor spaces for exercise and cycling is designed to appeal to all ages. The development will include four unique theme parks, including “Angry Birds World” – the first of its kind in the Middle East, “Snow Dunes” – Qatar’s first indoor snow park, “Juniverse” – an edutainment park for children that harnesses the power of dynamic learning and “Virtuocity” – created exclusively for teens and adults, the park is well placed to deliver an immersive digital experience.