Kuwait-based retail franchise operator Alshaya Group has signed a deal to open 30 retail stores and various restaurants in the upcoming Mall of Qatar development.
Collectively these brands will occupy around 18,000 square metres in the mall, a statement said.
As per the deal, the group will open retail stores such as Debenhams, Pinkberry, Bath & Body Works, Milano, Icing, American Eagle Outfitters, Vision Express, Jo Malone, River Island, Payless ShoeSource, Boots, Claire’s, M.A.C, Foot Locker, H&M, Miss Selfridge, Topshop, Phase Eight, The Body Shop, Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Babel, Pottery Barn, Raising Cane’s, Next and Mothercare at Mall of Qatar.
Alshaya is also set to open food and beverage brands such as Asha’s, Starbucks, PF Chang’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Texas Roadhouse and Shake Shack in the mall.
“Qatar is an important and growing market for us and we are very pleased to partner with Mall of Qatar to expand the range of retail, café and dining choices that we can offer to customers”, said Alshaya’s retail property’s senior vice president John Hadden.
The $1bn Mall of Qatar project is part of the country’s efforts to increase its retail supply.
The mall, situated next to the stadium that is expected to host the 2022 World Cup, is set to open in August 2016 with 500 stores and a Carrefour hypermarket. The project was initially slated to open in the first quarter of 2016 but was postponed to later next year to allow more time for tenants to complete their fit-out.
About 5 to 7 per cent of its retail space is set to have high-end luxury brands while 20 per cent of the space will be taken up by restaurants, mall officials said previously.
Experts say Doha’s strong population growth and local customers’ affinity towards luxury make it an interesting market for retailers.
According to a report released by AT Kearney earlier this year, Qatar overtook the United Arab Emirates as the most attractive markets for retailers in the Middle East. The country ranked fourth in AT Kearney’s Global Retail Development Index, much ahead of the UAE, which was ranked in the seventh position.