Work under way ... at the Mall of Qatar.

Construction is well under way on what is designed to be the largest shopping mall in Qatar spanning 550,000 sq m, which aims to attract a footfall of 20 million customers annually.

It is located 20 minutes from downtown Doha, at the intersection of Al Rayyan Highway and Celebration Road, adjacent to the popular Al Rayyan Sports Club and a future 2022 Fifa World Cup stadium.

A well-experienced team of international designers, architects, leasing, marketing and building professionals are hard at work to raise the bar on the shopping and entertainment experience in the country with high-end retail destination which will also enfold Qatar’s largest indoor family entertainment centre.

Amongst them is the reputed Urbacon Trading and Contracting Company (UCC), owned and managed by the Al Khayyat family of Qatar. UCC is both the design-build manager and the manager/operator of the development (see Contractors).

Commenting on the $824-million project, UCC’s executive director Moutaz Al Khayyat says: “The last mall to be delivered in Qatar was the Villaggio in 2006. Since then, the national population has increased by over a million, so we believe there is certainly the demand. We’ve gone to great efforts to make the Mall of Qatar stand out for its emphasis on family and entertainment. Even Carrefour (the hypermarket at the mall) will be creating a specially designed store which will be unique to the Middle East.

The mall’s interiors.

The mall’s interiors.

“We will, of course, still be providing the usual luxury boutiques that have become synonymous with shopping malls in the region, and I’m delighted to confirm we’ve already signed leases for 60 per cent of the 500 shops available.”

Chapman Taylor, a world leader in retail and large-scale mixed-use architecture schemes, is the lead architect on this prestigious project and McArthur + Company the exclusive leasing agent for the mall.

The mall will host three levels of retail space including four international department stores, a Carrefour hypermarket, 25 major flagship stores, over 50 luxury brands, 65 restaurants, a world-class cinema, and a mega indoor family entertainment centre. The completed mall will also be home to some 80 food and beverage (F&B) outlets, ranging from signature restaurants to open kitchen venues and fast food fare.

There will be a five-star hotel featuring 210 meticulously appointed rooms – part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. The hotel will also have a direct connection to the Mall of Qatar’s exclusive Luxury Court.

One of the major distinguishing architectural features of the Mall of Qatar will be a three-storey-high sophisticated urban-lifestyle market place running the full length of the centre spine. This area with a vaulted glass ceiling opens out into a breathtaking central amphitheatre called “The Oasis” with an impressive domed roof and will become the heart of the project.

The Oasis ... breathtaking amphitheatre.

The Oasis ... breathtaking amphitheatre.

The malls sits at the junction of two major highways and will also benefit from its own dedicated station on Qatar’s new metro line and a further link to Al Rayyan Stadium, one of the main 2022 Fifa World Cup venues. For those arriving by road, the mall has valet parking and room for 7,000 cars, 3,000 of which can park below grade.

The 400 shops from luxury to the world’s leading powerhouse brands and an exciting array of food, beverage and entertainment will make this the premier destination in Qatar.

Furthermore, the Mall of Qatar has revealed its plans for a multifaceted family entertainment centre promising to deliver a wide range of new concepts for visitors on its scheduled opening at the end of 2015.

Anchored by a 19-screen cinema with more than 3,000 seats, the mall is expected to be home to the largest Imax screen in the world that introduces its new ground-breaking 3D laser technology. The theatre is constructed on multiple levels and includes six exclusive VIP screens, bowling lanes and a host of new and unique in-theatre dining options.

As an integral part of the project, the Mall of Qatar has also revealed a partnership with video game developer Rovio, the company behind the highly successful ‘Angry Birds’ franchise, to create the world’s first indoor Angry Birds Activity Park.

An artist’s impression of the mall.

An artist’s impression of the mall.

Another concept being developed exclusively for the mall is Juniverse – a role-playing experience set in the future that offers up to 50 different modules allowing children the opportunity to experience what working on a space station will be like. One of the modules features a step back in time and an encounter with life-size animatronic dinosaurs.

For those who are looking for more thrill-based entertainment, Virtuosity will provide a variety of virtual experiences, including putting visitors in the cockpit of either Formula One race cars or F16 fighter jets. As part of a virtual concept, video gamers will also have the opportunity to compete globally in a giant gaming amphitheatre.

At the centre of the eight-storey-high entertainment area will be a fully hydraulic and rotating stage, enabling live performances through a wide range of genres. Guests will be able to enjoy daily shows from the cafe terraces on all the levels surrounding it.