A new high-end shopping center on Al Sadd St. is gearing up for an end-of-September launch, and will contain an organic grocery store, several restaurants and two indoor souqs focused on gold and jewelry, according to a mall official.
Most of the stores inside the two-story Al Sadd Mall – located near Royal Plaza, on the north side of Al Sadd St., roughly halfway between C-Ring Road and Al Waab Street/Jawaan Street – will be single-brand retailers opening their first outlet in the country, said general manager Bashir Jama.
“We’re not taking any duplicate brands that are in Qatar already,” he told Doha News on a tour of the mall this month.
While the common areas appear to be largely completed, most of the stores were observed to still be in base building condition, with unfinished floors, exposed overhead ductwork and plastered stone walls.
Confirmed retailers include French skincare treatment center LPG Systems and fashion and diamond retailer Laodicea City.
On the restaurant front, the mall will include Puro Ristorante, an Italian eatery known for its “pure” white decor punctuated by black accessories and elaborate artwork. Additionally, Jama said he’s in talks with three-star Michelin chef Heinz Beck, who oversees several restaurants, including Social in Dubai.
Jama said he was unable to mention other specific stores, but added that the shopping center is expected to also include an organic grocery store, a bakery, cosmetics and clothing retailers, a children’s salon, coffee shops as well as multiple gold and jewelry kiosks clustered into “souq” areas on the upper floor.
The new Al Sadd Mall – owned by Mubarak Al Hajri and developed by Said Al-Sharan Trading & Contracting Co. – is one of several new shopping center under construction across the country that, when combined, would nearly quadruple the current amount of organized retail space in Doha.
Though Qatar’s population is growing at a rapid clip, new retail developments are coming up even faster. That means that the city’s supply of shopping space could begin to outstrip demand from merchants as early as this year, according to a 2013 report published by real estate services firm Colliers International.
Jama said approximately 80 percent of the center’s roughly 27,000 square meters of leasable space has already been rented. In terms of the mall’s size, it has roughly a quarter of the space of City Center Mall, which has 120,000 square meters of leasable property.
Al Sadd Mall is much smaller than many of the shopping centers under construction, which Jama said will work to its advantage. Visitors would be able to reach shops more quickly and easily, avoiding long walks through parking lots with loaded shopping trolleys.
However, Jama said his facility’s most important competitive advantage is its location.
“We’re at the heart of a residential center and a business center … This is the heart of Doha. Everybody goes through this (area),” he said.
In addition to the heavy vehicle and foot traffic that Al Sadd Street sees, Qatar Rail is building a metro station less than a block away as part of the east-west Gold Line running between the airport and Villaggio Mall.
Jama said a consultant found a sufficient number of middle and high-income expat and local households in the area to support the luxury shopping center. He added he also expects to draw guests staying at hotels in the vicinity, which include La Cigale, the Wyndham Grand Regency and the Millennium Hotel.
“There isn’t a better location to have a mall than here,” Jama said, contrasting it with other new shopping centers under construction on the outskirts of Doha.
He added that the shopping center’s scheduled fall opening is just the development’s first phase. Plans are also in the works to add a five-star hotel connected to the mall in a pair of vertical extension of up to seven stories.
Jama said a hotel operator has not yet been selected.