Mall of Qatar GM highlights the nation's burgeoning retail opportunities
That new era promises new opportunities in the Qatar retail market, Mourani said.
"We are in a unique position to differentiate ourselves and provide a unique shopping experience,” Mourani said. “With so many choices, it is imperative that mall owners and developers hone new opportunities to attract new shoppers. Delivering new mall formats are essential to stay relevant, generate increased footfall and become the number one destination for shoppers."
While some expect the era of building mega-malls to come to an end soon, Mourani said a confluence of global trends are coming together to cause mega malls to change the role they play in people's lives.
“No longer are they primarily about shopping,” he said. "Today, when consumers visit malls, they are looking for experiences that go well beyond traditional shopping. The growing middle class in the Middle East maintains a strong association between consumption and pleasure, driving the need for more engaging shopping experiences."
Highlighting the challenges from e-commerce, Mourani said that the rise of digital technologies are fundamentally reshaping consumer expectations and shifting the function of stores towards useful and entertaining customer experiences.
"The world of retail is changing considerably,” he said. “However, mega malls still can have a central role in the urban communities, and mega mall operators must expand their horizons of what a mall can be. They must envision themselves no longer as real estate brokers, but instead as retailers.”
That’s the vision Mall of Qatar aims to meet with over five hundred stores, more than a hundred food and beverage outlets, a five-star luxury hotel and an impressive array of unique entertainment experiences including the largest IMAX Laser 3-D projection system in the world.