Shop Qatar’s Design District has attracted many fashion and art enthusiasts in the country who have already expressed interest to take part in the next edition, Noor al-Thani from the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) has said.

She told reporters that QNTC’s new and unique initiative, running until Saturday (January 12) at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, received a positive response from the public, particularly from fashionistas and artists in Doha.

“A lot of people are asking what this event is all about, they want to be educated about the design and fashion industry in Qatar,” al-Thani said. “They are asking ‘how can we be involved and how can we grow together to bring this to the next level.’”

She added there is already a plan to continue the District next year for its second edition, which is expected to be bigger and better.

QNTC is also planning to increase not only the number of participants but also the activities in the District aimed at further engaging the public to a series of talks, workshops, and masterclasses, among others.

In this edition, the District also features more than 60 pop-up shops showcasing varied offerings such as professional tailoring, customisable casual wear, handcrafted clothing, home accessories, and makeup, besides a series of fashion shows.

A fashion show displaying the collections of three designers from Qatar and one from India will be among the highlights at the District on Friday (January 10). These are: Yassmine Mansour (Qatar), known for her innovative designs and futuristic garments; Tamader al-Sultan (Qatar), a graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University – Qatar and an impeccable dresser with an eye for fashion and her mind on the future, particularly in Europe; Saeed Malas (Qatar), who will showcase his ‘Royal Collection,’ drawing inspiration from Damascene motifs which were widely found across the levant region and continue to be used by royalty as symbols of luxury and elegance; and Raghavendra Rathore (India), a member of the royal family of Jodhpur, a graduate from the Parsons School of Design in New York City and worked as an assistant designer with Donna Karan for DKNY.

Fashion enthusiasts will also have the chance to see the works of Naja Saade (Lebanon), who has gained fame with his Haute Couture fashion and wedding gowns; and Raw Mango founder Sanjay Garg (India) – five of his Chanderi sarees are part of the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, on Saturday (January 12).

The District offers free wi-fi, courtesy of telecommunications partner Vodafone; and pop-up shops as point of sale.

The District’s strategic partners include Fashion Trust Arabia, Katara Hospitality, Qatar Airways, Makeup District, Apparel Group, Alfardan Premier Motors, and Vodafone Qatar.