Browsing 'retail' News

Mirqab Mall, Al Sadd

Lesley Walker / Doha News

Mirqab Mall, Al Sadd

One of Doha’s busiest neighborhoods will be transformed into a new shopping hub when the under-construction Mirqab Mall opens to the public next year.

Al Sadd’s commercial Al Mirqab Al Jadeed St. has been undergoing a face-lift in recent years as older shop fronts are remodeled and rebuilt.

The area (also known as Nasser St.)  has traditionally been dominated by small shops and eateries. But this will change with the launch of the mall, which is planned to open in 2017, a representative told Doha News.

Operated by Qatar-based Al Mana, the mall has 70,000 square meters of gross leasable area, with nearly 40,000sq m for retail, eateries, entertainment and a cinema.

What’s there

More than 120 brands are confirmed to open in the mall, including Qatar fashion staples Reiss, Zara and Cath Kidston.

The UK-based music and entertainment chain HMV will also open a branch in the mall, as part of a 15-store Gulf expansion.

There will also be a Carrefour supermarket while fast food stalwarts including McDonalds and Papa Johns will join Paul Cafe and Casper & Gambini as some of the eating options.

Additionally, Al Mirqab mall will feature a new branch of the children’s entertainment brand Funderdome, which currently runs a play area at Dar Al Salam Mall in Abu Hamour. A movie theater run by Flik Cinema is also set to open.

Meanwhile, a parking lot will have space for 1,500 vehicles, according to the mall’s website.

Mirqab Mall, al Sadd

Lesley Walker / Doha News

Mirqab Mall, al Sadd

The facade of the mall, which is already complete, features modern glass panels alongside traditional arches. A large, ornate dome sits atop the main door of the shopping center.

Construction is still underway inside the mall, ahead of tenants moving in to begin their fit-out.

Offices and medical clinics will take up the remaining 31,000sq m of space over three floors above the shopping area.

In January this year, real estate firm DTZ Qatar announced it had been hired to lease out the office space for the mall.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

PixShark

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Despite leaner economic times in Qatar, DTZ said they expected strong demand from retailers for space in the country’s new malls.

“The focus will shift to providing high-end retail and restaurant accommodation with international fashion brands as the new target,” Edd Brookes, general manager of DTZ Qatar said in a statement at the time.

More malls

Around 12 malls are slated to open in Qatar by 2019.

If they open on schedule, Doha’s retail space will see a 220 percent increase, from 700,000 sq m currently to more than 2 million sq m, DTZ added.

While the mega malls of Doha Festival City and Mall of Qatar are being constructed out of town and expected to open over the next six months, a number of shopping centers are being built in already established residential and commercial districts of Doha.

For example, work continues on Doha Mall, which is being built in Abu Hamour. The area has become increasingly popular in recent years with schools opening up new campuses.

Doha Mall in Abu Hamour

Doha Mall

Doha Mall in Abu Hamour

Doha Mall has 100,000 square meters of gross leasable area and is due to be completed this year, according to Al Mana’s website, which gives few other details about the complex.

The mall operators were unavailable for comment.

Other malls under construction in popular residential areas include Tawar Mall in Duhail, which is scheduled to open by the year-end.

Thoughts?

For illustrative purposes only

BHS Qatar/Facebook

Photo for illustrative purposes only

A handful of BHS stores in the UK may re-open if Qatar-based Al Mana Group goes ahead with a reported plan to launch a small British operation.

The Qatari company bought the online and international operations of the beleaguered department store chain last month, for an undisclosed amount.

As part of the deal, Al Mana will run the 70 worldwide branches of BHS, as well as its website.

However, the last of more than 160 stores in the UK closed their doors yesterday over financial troubles.

Luxury leanings

Al Mana already owns the franchise rights to operate the Qatar-based stores, which are popular with residents particularly at sale times.

Now, the group is considering finding a franchise partner to run a small number of stores in the UK, The Guardian reported.

These branches would be more up-market, the newspaper added, citing an unnamed source close to Al Mana.

No one from the company however was available to comment.

Thoughts?

For illustrative purposes only

BHS Qatar/Facebook

Photo for illustrative purposes only

The Qatar-based Al Mana Group has agreed to buy nearly all the international branches owned by the beleaguered British fashion chain BHS, according to Sky News.

In a deal that is expected to be announced later today, Al Mana will run more than 70 of the non-UK branches and operate its website. A price tag for the agreement has not been disclosed.

The Qatari company currently holds franchise rights for BHS stores in Qatar, which are particularly popular with residents during its sales periods.

The family fashion and homewear chain has branches in Landmark Mall, City Center and in Al Mana Towers on C-Ring Road.

BHS

MEC

BHS

Al Mana has a diverse portfolio of businesses, including 55 companies in eight countries, according to its website.

Its retail division is run by Wissam Saleh Al Mana, executive director and one of the sons of Saleh al Hamad Al Mana, who founded the group in 1951.

The retail head is also married to pop star Janet Jackson.

Al Mana’s retail portfolio is dominated by designer brands such as Hermes, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga in the GCC, but also includes the rights to operate chains like Go Sport.

Chain troubles

BHS has been in administration (akin to pre-bankruptcy) since April, following reports of a giant pension deficit for its UK operations.

It previously operated more than 150 stores in the UK, but many of these have shut down in recent years.

For illustrative purposes only

BHS Qatar/Facebook

For illustrative purposes only

Last year, Sir Philip Green sold the entire company for £1 to former racing driver Dominic Chappell, who tried to separate its more profitable international operations from the British business, the FT reported.

Speaking to the newspaper yesterday, Chappell said:

“(I am) genuinely very pleased that it’s gone to a group like (Al Mana) because they will drive it forward. We’re obviously disappointed because we were trying to buy it, but there you go.”

This is the first deal to be secured by BHS and it remains unclear how the company’s 10,000 staff at its head office and shops in the UK will be affected.

Thoughts?