fc-dohaJeddah: Bawabat Al-Shamal Real Estate Company W.L.L. (known as BASREC), the developer and owner of Doha Festival City, has signed an agreement with Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate (AFGRE) to be the manager and operator of what will be one of the region’s most unique leisure, entertainment and retail offerings. With construction of the mall component due for imminent completion, the site is on track to open its doors to the public in February 2017, and Mall Management have now commenced final preparations to take over the site – one of the largest leisure and retail developments in the Gulf – from contractors.

Kareem M. Shamma, Chief Executive Officer, BASREC, the joint venture which comprises Dubai-Based Al-Futtaim Real Estate Services, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), Aqar Real Estate Investment Company and a private Qatari investor says, ”We are pleased to be on track for a timely delivery of this leisure, retail, hospitality and entertainment destination which reflects Qatar’s exciting and vibrant future, and to have finalised the appointment of AFGRE for the management of this world class asset, bringing together a team of talent from both the region and across the globe”.

AFGRE, who owns and operates other Festival City Malls in Dubai and Cairo has completed its Senior Mall Management team hires for Doha Festival City, with the addition of the Assistant General Manager, Luis Valente, who is an experienced real estate professional from Portugal, offering a proven track record in business development, retail asset and mall management.  Prior to joining, Luis was Head of Asset and Mall Management, managing a team responsible for 15 shopping centers at KLEPIERRE Portugal. He will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of an efficient and best in class customer experience, tenant relations and project management at Doha Festival City.

Luis joins Trevor Hill, General Manager, Doha Festival City, who was appointed in September 2015. Trevor is responsible for the overall management and operational strategy, bringing with him a vast level of experience in retail property, FMCG and the retail industry across a number of strategic management roles. Most recently Trevor was the Center Manager for Westfield Sydney, Scentre Group Australia, and he will be working closely with Luis on day to day operations.

Hill and Valente are joined by Andre Steyn, Senior Facilities Manager, May Marzooq, Senior Marketing Manager, Jamal Al Shraih, Financial Controller, Stylianos Fontrier, Specialty Leasing Manager; Bahadir Gelgor, Customer Service Manager and  Ahmed Farghaly, Security Manager.

Trevor is already overseeing the handover where he and his team are working on ensuring the customer experience at Festival City is world class.  He commented; “As we reach the final few months of preparation, and in line with the Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate vision of attracting and retaining top talent, we strongly feel we have the most experienced team to lead the way in making Doha Festival City a must visit destination for visitors and residents of Qatar to enjoy. I am confident in the power of our combined expertise and together we will ensure visitors will be both surprised and delighted with a world-class leisure and retail experience.”

About Doha Festival City:

Set to open its doors in February 2017, Doha Festival City celebrates the best in leisure, retail and hospitality. With a gross building area the equivalent size of 94 football pitches, and a Gross Leasable Area of 244,000 sqm, the QAR 6.5 billion mixed-use development will include the biggest mall in Qatar and one of the largest leisure and retail developments in the Gulf.

Bawabat Al-Shamal Real Estate Company WLL (known as BASREC), is the developer and owner of Doha Festival City. BASREC is a joint venture which comprises Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Real Estate Services, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), AQAR Real Estates Development & Investment Company, and a private Qatari investor. Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate (AFGRE) will be the managers and operators of Doha Festival City, one of the region’s most unique leisure, retail and hospitality offerings.

Doha Festival City is a leisure destination with a world-class entertainment complex, and will be home to indoor and outdoor attractions unique to Qatar. This comprehensive mix of entertainment and leisure – from Qatar’s first VOX 4D cinema complex with 18 digital screens, to outdoor spaces for exercise and cycling is designed to appeal to all ages. In addition, Doha Festival City will delight visitors with four unique theme parks, including “Angry Birds World” – the first of its kind in the Middle East, “Snow Dunes” – Qatar’s first indoor snow park, “Juniverse” – an edutainment park for children that harnesses the power of dynamic learning and “Virtuocity” – created exclusively for teens and adults, the park delivers an immersive digital experience.

Currently home to IKEA which has been trading since 2013, Doha Festival City will have more than 500 carefully selected international and local brands, many of which will be making their Qatar debut. Easily accessible and offering 8,000 parking spaces, the project will also see the addition of a five-star hotel and convention center which will break ground in 2017, opening in 2018.