Katara Plaza, Qatar’s first “open-air, air-conditioned” commercial plaza, will open in September next year across a 38,000sqm area in Katara, the Cultural Village, it was announced yesterday.
Promised to offer a “unique world-class shopping experience”, Katara Plaza is to be operated by Ali Bin Ali Group which has signed an agreement with Katara.
Katara Plaza will have the French department store Galeries Lafayette as anchor tenant, Middle East’s first evian Spa and a dedicated children’s mall.
The project will “offer a relaxed atmosphere and designated spaces for shoppers, featuring some of the most famous brands in the world, along with recreational experiences, in line with culture and entertainment”.
Katara Plaza is to have a “pioneering”, air-conditioned and open space that provides year-round comfort utilising a state-of-the-art system that uses the latest ground cooling technology, thereby presenting a perfect blend of artistic architecture, innovation and maximum comfort.
“The Ali Bin Ali Group recognises the tremendous potential for growth available in the Qatari market, supports the  National Vision 2030 and promotes the country’s status as a true trendsetter in the Gulf region,” vice chairman and executive vice president Nabeel Ali bin Ali told a press conference.
Work on Galeries Lafayette has already begun with the world-famous architect Bruno Moinard, who “intrinsically blends luxury and art, taking on the creation of the stores”.
Katara Plaza will welcome one of the very few exclusive evian Spas in the world. The French natural mineral water brand evian has developed a full exclusive spa concept “based on its core values of purity, health, and youthfulness”.
The evian Spa Doha will “literally transport the customers to an evian universe and its French Alpine birthplace, offering an unparalleled experience that goes beyond those offered in a classical spa”, officials said.
The children’s mall is to be designed in the form of two big gift boxes wrapped in red and gold, a first for the Middle East. “The uniqueness of the design reflects Qatar’s inclination towards developing landmarks of modern architecture.”
Katara Plaza project will provide residents of Katara Hills project with the opportunity of first-hand experience of this environment.
Katara general manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti said the cultural district offered a “unique and unprecedented model” in investment-based cultural projects.
“Katara is the embodiment of the insightful vision of the Qatari national leadership in pursuing the transition from a hydrocarbon economy to a knowledge economy,” he said.
“The cultural district, which is already a meeting point for all cultures in the world, also provides all means of tourism, entertainment, shopping, through new projects,” he added.
Pointing out that Katara received as many as 14mn visitors during 2014, up from the 7mn in 2013, Dr al-Sulaiti added that the success of Katara Plaza project was assured, given the cultural destination’s immense popularity across the region and the world.

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