A luxury spa, an upmarket French department store and a children’s mall will anchor a new outdoor air-conditioned commercial plaza that is set to open next year at Katara Cultural Village, officials have announced.
“Katara Plaza” will contain the Middle East’s first evian spa, named after the French mineral water firm. It will also be home to Qatar’s first Galeries Lafayette, a Paris-based retailer specializing in clothing, accessories and homeware, Katara managers told media yesterday while discussing details of the new development.
The plaza will be 38,000 square meters, which is equivalent to approximately one-quarter of City Center Mall’s retail area.
Acknowledging that a glut of commercial centers will be opening in Qatar over the next few years, officials said Katara Plaza’s traditional architecture and climate-controlled open-air design would help it compete.
“We expect that Katara Plaza (will) unlock a unique world-class shopping experience offering the Qatari market many first-of-its-kind experiences,” stated Nabeel Ali Bin Ali, vice-chairman and executive vice-president of the Ali Bin Ali Group, which will manage the commercial development.
Outdoor cooling technology was previously exhibited at Katara last summer during screenings of the 2014 World Cup.
Open-air fan zones were set up at the cultural village, where spectators watched football matches broadcast from Brazil outdoors. Despite Qatar’s searing summer heat, many fans said they were actually cold while in the zone.
Katara has seen a flurry of development in recent years.
Plans for a retail area, previously dubbed “The Valley,” have long been in the works for the area adjacent to Al Istiqlal Street, between the two ridges of land separating the busy road and the cultural village.
A separate construction project, “Katara Hills” is underway to build a waterfront community atop the embankments.
According to Katara’s website, the project will be a low-rise mixed-use development consisting of villas, townhouses and apartment flats “targeted to be a venue for high-class VIPs and celebrities, providing a luxurious living lifestyle, together with an authentic and enriching cultural experience.”
There were also plans for a fourth phase, which would be a 178,000-square-meter mixed-use development on the southern edge of the Katara property. No details have been released on the status of that project.
Officials said the revenues from the residential and commercial developments are envisioned to support Katara’s cultural programming, which includes exhibitions, festivals and galleries.
“We are working to (be) an economically profitable cultural institution,” Katara general manager Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti said in a statement.
While the architecture and adjacent cultural amenities are likely to give the commercial area a unique appearance, Katara will nevertheless be competing for tenants against several other new shopping centers – many of which are also chasing high-end, luxury retailers.
Cultural institutions such as Katara form a key plank of Qatar’s tourism strategy, which aims to dramatically increase the number of visitors to the country in the coming years.
Al-Sulaiti said yesterday that Katara received 14 million guests last year, twice as many as the 7 million people who visited in 2013, according to the Gulf Times.
You really need new stock photos, I’ve seen that photo of the two guys on the cushion in about a hundred article.
That is not a stock photo. That is a photo taken by a Dohanews journalist.
I hate having to look at their knees…very disturbing
Luxury houses, luxury developments, luxury malls, etc. And what about us “normal” people?
Going to corniche bro :(((((
Spare a thought for the thousands of people too “normal” to be allowed onto the Corniche on a Friday. What do you suppose they get up to on their one day off?
i hope they come to enjoy corniche. Because they working hard. if you are asking to me friday sorry bro prayer to big mosque and clean home and look after my little princess…Saturday best day…
No body likes normal people, we stay home.
Finally some luxury stores
Evian spa and Galeries Lafayette, that’s what I needed !
in case Carrefour gets out of stock (and Carrefour is always out of stock!), now you know where you can find it 🙂
Would be nicer to have something that brings more people together as opposed to many stores and shopping malls. This is good though 🙂
They should build a large, open air amphitheatre, so that it can be used for cultural and musical shows. Ideally with perhaps 1000 seats. That would be a great way to bring people together.
Which reminds me, am I the only one who seems to be under the impression that the original plan for Katara was that it would be the “Cultural Village”?
At what point did it morph into a giant mall and housing project?
And I remain curious about how a place that struggles to accommodate vehicle traffic already will cope once a mall opens there.
They assume that people will use the metro. Are the metro trains designed such that they can stop outside takeways and the passengers get food delivered to the carriage.
of course, every window winds down and you have a horn to beep…the problem is that the first train will holdup all other blocking the track whilst passengers are honking and waiting for their karak and shwarma …disaster…
A children’s mall is very important. They must learn early how to go shopping. It’s the favorite leisure activity in Qatar.
Yeah! Start them young so they can learn to shop and stroll in the malls…..What a great idea to spend time and money 😛
Given the PISA rates in Qatar maybe they should learn other things rather then shopping!
This is another Pearl disaster waiting to happen.
FOR ONCE, I’d love to see a headline like this: “Hole-In-the-wall” themed plaza to open in Qatar.
Noticing the massive surplus in luxury malls, organization X has cut the ribbon on its new stripmall themed plaza. Pizzerias, Sushi joints, specialty stores and street performances top the list for things you can expect to see at the new establishment.
Someone PLEASE make this happen. You’d make millions.
Will this country ever invest in the range of local, easy to access facilities (sports, leisure, health,)
that the majority of people want and need.
You would think a comparison of the carpark at Lulu and the carpark at The Gate Mall on a typical evening would give you an indication of who the key demographic in this country is, and how much money they are spending.
yeh, this country could do with a sports foundation. This country should ASPIRE to have the one the worlds best sports facilities.
I don’t think Qataris want that. They can’t drive their cars to the track and fields. They would have to walk.
Hahaha,one facility in a country of 2 million. Yeah it is a large and world class facility, but people should be able to walk,cycle, run and swim locally. Not have to drive to one area of the city that is expensive and often difficult to pay and use. Such a childish response, thanks.
I admit that there is a lack of parks, but its not as if people use aspire park to its fullest and then theres the park in Al rayan that is barely touched as well as the ones close to the cornice (one shut but the other one is still open). How about MIA Park, thats not fully used all the time.
Then walks…how often do you go to the pearl to walk or run? or on the corniche?
I admit that there are a lot of facilities that are needed. But at the same time I find people here just want to complain…use whats there and then if it gets too busy, then people can complain but in reality a lot of the parks, and running areas are barely used.
You are missing the point. …..People should be able to walk from their home to green spaces, parks, recreational facilities. Read the comment below, they should focus on building sustainable, local community areas. Not these large grandiose parks and malls. It is all very one dimensional and lacks integration. That goes for rich and poor communities, again lack of good planning keeps people segregated based on wealth and then indirectly by nationality.
Are you assuming that what you are describing is desired here?
Exactly!…. and who wants to risk their life or get caught in traffic just trying to get to aspire….
May I humbly suggest a visit to neighbouring Dubai to see the point Christopher Lavelle is trying to make? The point isn’t a fancy ”world class sports foundation” to show off to the world but neighbourhood parks dotting the city,if not, little squares of green & if not even that,paved & cobbled stretches for kids to roller blade on,in EVERY part of the city,as opposed to ONE ”world class sports foundation” located off one of the busiest streets in the country! How about less malls & more parks,community swimming complexes,gyms,playing fields? Too much to ask?
Getting in and out of Katara is a nightmare!!! It is a very unpleasant experience no matter what Katara has to offer. With such chaos, it is a frustrating and not worth the attributed stress…
If you’re serious, you can easily avoid the traffic by parking near the big exit and using your feet for extra few meters.
On the positive side for the city, I must say the new parking at Souq Waqif is brilliant. The hassle factor of trying to get parking there was much worse than Katara. I think when the metro gets up an running and you can disembark at Katara, that will encourage a lot more people to use it. It’s the approaches to Katara that are the real problem.
all of Qatar has turned this way, and please, keep parking slots as less as possible!
Qatar deserve Best always and forever never stop Qatar…
How about opening some QDC corner stores for a change
DISASTER…..just another one !!
how much luxury can one tiny little spec of a town have ?
I live in a large American city and even we do NOT have a need for this much “luxury”
SHAME on what has befallen this sweet country.
Children have long been disadvantaged in Qatar by not having the appropriate environment in which to shop. A plethora of luxury stores aimed at children will be a massive step towards preserving traditional Qatari culture………….
Urgh, more shops, another mall……consume, consume, consume…….such a dearth of imagination in investment.
from the rendering picture Katara Plaza looks like nouveau Roman style I wanna be, but normally these things come up quite kitsch….I would have stayed with one style, the modern local that looks original and consistent. Otherwise they could throw some Baroque as well and we’ll have a potpourri!
Woooowwwwww This is amazing…
Such a shame that Katara is so badly losing its way. When it first opened its vision and purpose were clear, summed up in its positioning ‘Valley of Culture’ and at one point it was actually delivering. Its new direction is sending it on the path to becoming another hybrid, mixed use, luxury retail, residential and hospitality complex devoid of any local or regional culture – Evian Spa, Children’s Mall, Galleries Lafayette, VIP & celebrity housing – come on.
Katara is currently interesting because it’s different. What’s more, by delivering on the original vision, it has the potential to become a first rate cultural venue. Unfortunately its new trajectory puts it at risk of becoming just a second rate mall and with Mall of Qatar and Doha Festival City scheduled to open in the near future, what need do we have for a second rate mall?
Shopping malls are the culture.
You know how civilised a country is by its museums and cultural places I mean children’s mall! 😐