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 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.”
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.
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.