As many as 60 promising business establishments from the food and beverage (F&B) and retail sectors have been attracting throngs of customers to the ‘Night Market’ at the Al Duhail Sports Club parking lot.
Open from 7pm to 3am during the holy month of Ramadan, the market has been successful in drawing huge crowds not only from the nearby areas but also from other communities across the country.
“This event is an initiative to support Qatari youth by Sheikh Suhaim bin Khalid bin Hamad al-Thani, and organised by Cloud e for events by Qatari businesswoman and social media influencer Najla al-Shafiee,” Cloud e marketing manager Nasser al-Amri told Gulf Times
in an interview.
Food outlets at the Night Market.
Many products bear customised designs and Qatari tradition.
According to al-Amri, people are looking for new and unique experiences, especially after the economic blockade was imposed on Qatar in June 2017. “We have conceptualised this initiative to offer something different to the public,” he said.
“Actually, a lot of people are coming five to six times a day to the market, which is open from 7pm to 3am. Some customers would come first for coffee after Iftar and then leave to attend to other affairs, and then they would be back for Suhoor or to socialise or to just have a good time,” he continued.
Al-Amri said the location of the Night Market is ideal and is near a residential community of “a lot of prominent Qataris.”
He also noted that the Night Market also aims to bring in more commercial traffic to the Duhail area.
The market also has a spacious play area with bouncy castles and other entertainment activities for kids. To accommodate the large number of families visiting the market, organisers have arranged a ‘family day’ on Tuesdays and Sundays.
What also makes the market unique is that the business establishments are housed in container vans that were converted into shops of varying sizes.
Al-Amri said the use of container vans for the month-long event is a first in Doha and a unique approach to changing the way markets are being held.
He said the idea of using container vans came from Destination Box, an “experimental” initiative that is located at the other side of the Night Market. It is still under construction, but the project, which will be a permanent establishment, will house restaurants and shops.
Al-Amri stressed that the age bracket of the entrepreneurs participating at the Night Market ranges between 18 and 35, most of whom are new to business and do not have a brick-and-mortar shop to showcase their products.
Dukhan Bedaya, which is also participating in the Night Market, is showcasing a wide range of startups and their respective products. Mahmood al-Mahmood, Entrepreneurship Department manager at the Bedaya Centre for Entrepreneurship and Career Development (Bedaya Centre), said Bedaya Dukhan is a multi-brand outlet that showcases several products of Qatari startups.
“Bedaya Centre, through Dukhan Bedaya, offers new startup owners and other entrepreneurs the opportunity to test the viability of their products and get a feel of the market, as well as get feedback from customers, considering the cost and the challenges of opening your own shop, so one of our objectives is to motivate entrepreneurs to pursue their businesses,” al-Mahmood said.