Barwa Real Estate Group and Promontorio officials announcing the Alaateda project yesterday.
By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter
Barwa Real Estate Group’s proposed mall Alaateda, which will come up close to the Msheireb Downtown Doha project, aims to bring back the open mall concept that was prevalent in the country in the 1970s and earlier.
Speaking to Gulf Times during the consultancy signing ceremony for the project yesterday, Ahmad Abdulla al-Abdulla, acting group CEO of Barwa Real Estate Group, said all shops in the proposed mall would be facing the road.
“We did not have any closed malls in those times and we could enter the shops straight from the street and do the shopping. Even from inside, we will create the same ambience.”
About the name of the project, al-Abdulla said it is closely related to the project’s location. “The land where the project will be constructed used to gather all central workshops of mechanical machinery, and belonged to the government at that time. Through its project Alaateda, Barwa aims to revive the spirit of the area,
not only through its name, but the interiors of the project will
also reflect the spirit of the old Alaateda.”
Paulo Perloiro, partner and head of Retail Design, Promontorio, consultants for Alaateda, said street retail would be the backbone of the business in coming days. “We are designing an open mall with street retail using the best of technology, but bringing the quality and ambience of the Doha streets. We are planning to bring the best of mall operations with opportunities for street retail.”
“There is a huge demand for street retail around the world. From a business point-of-view, this is a great opportunity for the retail market. We do not know what will happen to business in malls in the long term but for sure street retail is going to be successful. In the project, some of the places will be open - which will not have any airconditioners but with overhead shades and some cooling system,” he said, adding that his firm designed a similar mall in Portugal in 2001-2002.
Work on project to start next year
Alaateda consists of five connected buildings, designed in a “flexible way” to adjust with any future plans of expansion.
The commercial activity differs from one building to another,
selling electronics, car accessories, handicrafts, jewellery, furniture, textiles and fashion products, among others.
Building number one will be entirely for electronics and other accessories while the second building will be for textiles.
The third building will be for decoration accessories, handicrafts and the fourth one will be for home appliances and furniture. The fifth building will
have a hypermarket as well as an area for entertainment, video games and restaurants.
According to Barwa officials,
the project is expected to be
released for contractors during the second quarter of 2015, marking the start of construction works and aiming for completion by beginning of 2017.
Each unit ranges in space between 70sqm and 80sqm,
and every commercial unit includes a multi-use mezzanine, covering 60% of the total space, to serve the needs of merchants.
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