- QTA and partners in travel, hospitality and retail sectors announce new festival
- Month-long event to feature Broadway musical, live concerts, stand-up comedy and in-mall entertainment
Under the slogan ‘A Brand New Tradition’, the first edition of Shop Qatar will kick-off in January with discounts on popular brands, cash prizes worth up to QAR 4 million, special offers on flights and hotel bookings, and a colourful schedule of entertainment featuring Cats the Broadway musical, live music concerts and 15 stand-up comedy acts.
The festival, which will be held from 7 January to 7 February 2017, was announced today by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and festival partners including, Mall of Qatar, Qatar Airways and Ezdan World.
The festival targets regional visitors and travellers from the UAE, which forms the second largest source market for Qatar. Substantial growth was evident in the number of Emirati visitors to Qatar in the first three quarters of 2016, which was 17% higher than that recorded in the same period of 2016. Up to the end of November 2016, Qatar received 109,983 visitors who are UAE nationals.
Retail outlets around the country will be providing discounts of up to 50% on a range of consumer goods including clothes, electronics, cosmetics and accessories for men, women and children. In addition to Mall of Qatar, which opened last week to become the largest shopping and entertainment hub in the nation, participating malls include Ezdan Mall, Hyatt Plaza, AlKhor Mall, Lagoona Mall, Gulf Mall, Landmark, Dar Al Salam Mall, The Gate and The Pearl-Qatar.
Rashed Al Qurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer at QTA, explained why the time is ripe for Qatar to host this festival. “Qatar enjoys a diverse retail sector, offering everything from luxury malls and high-end shopping promenades to entertainment-rich shopping centres, as well as authentic souqs and bazaars. Shop Qatar will shed light on this rich offering and celebrate it with Qatar’s residents and visitors.”
He added, “Based on the increases in visitor arrivals during the months that have coincided with other tourism festivals, we anticipate that a festival during the winter months has an even bigger chance of attracting visitors, due to the offering combined with Qatar’s great winter weather. Shop Qatar is also timed to fall within mid-year holidays for potential visitors in neighbouring countries, which are our largest source markets.”
In a move by QTA to support local entrepreneurs, Shop Qatar will also feature local products designed by students of Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar and other local designers, which will be displayed in a variety of pop-up stores throughout the participating malls. In addition, visitors can benefit from experts on the latest fashion and make-up trends through make-up tutorials which will be offered throughout the period of the festival and a fashion show during the final week.
Ahmad Al Mulla, Mall of Qatar CEO said, “The launch of Shop Qatar marks a new age in retail in Qatar. At Mall of Qatar, we are aligned with the efforts of Qatar Tourism Authority in bringing new streams of economic development and diversity to our country. At the same time we aim to change the paradigm of shopping centers in our region by bringing the first retailtainment shopping experience to Qatar.”
Enticing Travel and Accommodation Offers
To offer tourists the chance to conveniently travel, stay and shop in Qatar, QTA has partnered with Qatar Airways and popular hotel booking platforms to offer discounted air travel and tourist accommodation packages. Any flights to Qatar from within the GCC region booked on Qatar Airways for the period between 7 January and 7 February will be available with a 25% discount. In addition, members of Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club will receive double Q-miles on their booking during Shop Qatar.
Visitors to Shop Qatar can also take advantage of a range of accommodation offers at Qatar’s globally-recognised hospitality sector, when booking through Expedia.com and Booking.com.
Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Middle East, Africa & Pakistan – Mr Ehab Amin said: “We are proud to be associated with the Shop Qatar event, as it gives us an amazing opportunity to offer our award-winning services to more travellers, welcome them on board, and inviting them to stay and shop in Qatar. During Shop Qatar , we are offering carefully designed flight packages for GCC travellers with up to 25% discount, and double Qmiles to encourage our customers to turn their stop-over into a shop-over.”
Lively Entertainment for The Whole Family
Organisers also confirmed that Shop Qatar will offer a rich array of live cultural shows, performances by singing sensations and unlimited family-friendly entertainment in a festive, safe environment that reflects local culture and heritage.
Cats, the longest-running show on Broadway, will show from the 1st to the 4th of February 2017 at Qatar National Convention Centre. Tickets for the musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Weber will be available for purchase at Virgin Megastores outlets, starting at QAR 150 per ticket.
Two concerts which will feature Arab and Khaliji singers will take place on 20th January 2017 and 27th January 2017 at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center. Tickets will go on sale at all Virgin Megastores outlets and will range in price from QAR 120 to QAR 1,250.
The Doha Comedy Festival will be returning with an extensive line up of Khaliji, Arab, and international comedians, who will entertain audiences over a three-day fiesta of stand-up and humorous storytelling from 2nd to 4th February 2017 at Qatar National Convention Centre. Tickets will be on sale at all Virgin Megastores outlets with ticket prices ranging from QAR 120- QAR 1000.
Participating retail partners will also host exclusive in-mall entertainment and roaming mall shows, with fun for the whole family.
Outdoor Fun Fair
And, to capitalise on Qatar’s splendid winter weather, Shop Qatar has partnered with Ezdan World to offer a fun fair to visitors at the Magical Festival Village, which will be held beside Katara Cultural Village this winter. The Village houses over 400 shopping outlets, dozens of cafes and restaurants, bordered by public seating areas where visitors can relax and enjoy the ambience and lovely climate.
Chances to win cash prizes worth up to QAR 4,000,000
Shoppers who spend QAR 200 at any of the participating retailers can enter a weekly raffle draw at Mall of Qatar for a chance to win cash prizes worth up to QAR 4 million. Draws will be held on the first three Fridays of the Festival (13th, 20th, 27th of January), with 15 cash prizes ranging from QAR 10,000 to QAR 300,000 to be won each week.
The draws will culminate in a mega-draw on the final day of Shop Qatar (7th February 2017) where a jackpot prize of QAR 1,000,000 will be up for grabs, in addition to 14 other cash prizes ranging from QAR 20,000 to QAR 120,000.
Details of more events and activations will be announced during the course of the coming few weeks.