Malls in Qatar

While living here for almost 10 years, I’ve seen Doha’s transformation… from a relatively less known country than its neighbors until they become very popular especially after winning the privilege to host the 2020 FIFA World Cup.

When I arrived last December 2007, I landed at the old airport which is now being used by Qatar Emiri Air Force and other charter airline companies. Exchange rate then was at 11.3 pesos per 1 QAR (now at 13.7pesos per 1 QAR). Villaggio Mall (was still relatively new which was only opened June 2006) – date corrections courtesy of our readers. The 15th Asian Games concluded a year ago that time in 2006 and the Aspire Tower was still not converted to become a hotel until September 2011. The Pearl Qatar isn’t fully opened up until December 2011, same with Katara which only soft-opened in October 2010 during the Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF) – it was the former Aladdin’s Kingdom where I attended my very first Filipino concert in Qatar last 2008. Qatar International Exhibition Center (QIEC) was the largest exhibition center during that time until QNCC was opened last 2012. IKEA opened their first store in Qatar last May 2013 and will be part of the soon to be launched Doha Festival City. Finally, Hamad International Airport opened its gates to the world last April 30, 2014.

Year after year, new iconic buildings are being constructed at the West Bay area, new hotels are opening, taxis are now operated by 4 companies, “crazy” roundabouts are transformed into a regular traffic signals, and the road expansions as well as the construction of Doha Metro is literally causing traffic jams all over.

Indeed, my beloved city had undergone a lot… and more in the coming years.

 

Did you know that?

  • The first mall in Qatar is the Doha Mall (now simply called The Mall) located at Al Hilal district.
  • There is one place in Qatar I call The Block where several malls camp together in one area. It’s in Gharafa-Duhail Area where Landmark Mall used to be the only mall (thus, the name – the only landmark) until others like Ezdan Mall and Gulf Mall opened few years ago. In the coming months, three other malls will be joining the bandwagon including Q Mall, Tawar Mall, and the ultra luxurious Alhazm Mall.

malls-in-duhail

  • Several malls implement the “FAMILY ONLY” policy during weekends and so, the Grand Mall – located at the West End park in Mesaimeer area next to Karwa headquarters, was the first commercial complex for opened for single workers in the area, and will be the first such facility that will address the requirements of the large  diversified communities and migrant labourers in the country (excerpt).
  • The biggest mall to-date is the Mall of Qatar in Al Rayyan until the Doha Festival Mall  take the spot when it opens this first quarter of 2017 (according to reports).

For residents in Qatar, these malls are convenient place for shopping, dining and entertainment all under one roof. Moreover, they also provide employment opportunities for many people in the field of retail, food and services. Here’s a partial list of the malls scattered all over the country:

01 Mall                               Ain Khalid

Al Asmakh Mall             Al Sadd

Alhazm Mall*                 Al Markhiya

Al Khor Mall                   Al Khor

B Square Mall*              Al Thumama

City Center Mall           Westbay

Dar Al Salam Mall        Abu Hamour

Doha Festival City*     Umm Salal

Doha Oasis Mall*          Mushaireb

Ezdan Mall                       Al Gharafa

Grand Mall Qatar          Mesaimeer

Hyatt Plaza                      Al Aziziyah

Landmark Mall               Al Gharafa

Lagoona Mall                   Westbay

Madinat Centrale           The Pearl Qatar

Mall of Qatar                    Al Rayyan

Q Mall *                              Al Gharafa

Quality Mall-Al Khor     Al Khor

Royal Plaza Mall              Al Sadd

Safari Mall                         Abu Hamour

Tawar Mall*                      Al Duhail

The Gate Mall                   Al Gharafa

The Mall                             Al Hilal

Villaggio Mall                   Al Aziziyah

Wathanan Mall                Muaither

*soon to open

Have you been to all these malls? Share us your experiences.

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