Doha Festival City, home of Qatar’s newly-opened IKEA, officially broke ground on its second phase of development this week.
But the completion of the $1.6 billion (QR6 billion) project, which will host the country’s largest mall and include hotels and a convention center, is not expected until 2016, some two years after its original target.
DFC’s general manager told Doha News of the postponement last December.
In a statement on Wednesday, Kareem Shamma, CEO of Bawabat Al-Shamal Real Estate Co. WLL (BASREC), the joint venture representing DFC’s Qatari and Emirati shareholders, offered more detail:
“We are setting a realistic time frame target that is in line with a delivery schedule designed to meet the expectations of tenants who have already committed their presence at Doha Festival City.”
Also this week, DFC announced tie-ups with two major retail groups, the Kuwait-based M H Alshaya Company and Lebanon-based Azadea Group, which will help bring in some of the development’s 500 anticipated shops.
Alshaya said it plans to open some 50 different stores, cafes and restaurants within DFC, including Qatar’s first Pottery Barn and Bath & Body Works, as well as H&M, Debenhams, Mothercare, Topshop, Starbucks, Shake Shack and Pinkberry.
Azadea, which said it will open 27 new outlets at DFC, did not go into specifics about which stores residents would see. But the group currently manages Gymboree, Virgin Megastores, Zara, Paul, Promod and Bershka, among others, in Qatar.
DFC is located along Al Shamal Road some 15km north of Doha. Announced in 2010, the project broke ground in October 2011 and saw the completion of its first phase when IKEA opened last month.
Other features to be included in the development, according to remarks previously made by DFC officials, are Harvey Nichols, Toys R Us, Marks & Spencer, and VOX Cinemas, a UAE movie theater chain that has been eyeing Qatar as part of its regional expansion plans.
Credit: Renderings courtesy of Doha Festival City on Facebook
Note: This article previously incorrectly stated that Azadea manages Mango stores in Qatar. It only manages them in other GCC countries.