Swedish home goods store IKEA intends to open its doors for the first time in Qatar at the end of January, its developer Al Futtaim Group has confirmed to Doha News.
The store, which will launch a little over a month behind its original schedule, is located on Al Shamal Road just north of Doha and is the anchor tenant of the upcoming Doha Festival City project.
Best known for its cost-effective but stylish self-assemble furniture, the Scandinavian retail chain has more than 300 shops worldwide, including in neighboring Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Although the exterior of the 32,000 square meter shop in Qatar has yet to be completed and roads are still being built surrounding the construction site, IKEA and Al Futtaim say much work has already been done inside the building. Display furniture and showrooms have apparently been assembled, cash registers and customer service desks set up, the racking layout has been installed and the trolley conveyer system put in.
Future customers will, of course, also be able to dine on Swedish meatballs, lingonberries and other treats at the IKEA restaurant as and when it opens.
Doha Festival City
IKEA’s launch represents phase one of the 260,000 square meter Doha Festival City (DFC) development.
DFC Development Director Greg Douglas told Doha News that he expects the main project to get approvals and clearance to get started as early as today, with an anticipated completion goal of January 2016.
The shopping and entertainment complex is expected to be the second-largest in the region (after Dubai Mall), and has already lined up department store Harvey Nichols and VOX Cinemas as tenants amongst some 500 shops.
Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala