Qatar to See New $1.7B Shopping Center, Country's First IKEA

Doha, the capital city of Qatar, is set to get a massive $1.7 billion shopping center. The promising complex will offer approximately 2.7 million square feet of space divided into 500 retail units. A large chunk of the space will be filled by the country's first IKEA.

When a Middle Eastern project bearing the name Festival City pops up on your radar there are only a few possible locations that come to mind that aren’t Doha. The capital city of Qatar is set to get a massive shopping center currently under development by Bawabat Al-Shamal Real Estate Company, or Basrec, a joint venture between Al-Futtaim, Qatar Islamic Bank and Aqar Real Estate Development and Investment. The aforementioned venture has only recently secured a financing deal for the ambitious project totaling $1 billion.

Festival City

Festival City is set to be a flagship development for the retail industry and has already received the “Best Future Project” award at this year’s Global RLI Awards Gala held in London, beating out other projects like the Marina Mall, also in Doha, the Copenhagen Designer Outlets, set in the Danish capital and the National Heart Centre in Singapore. The promising complex will be built on a 108-acre lot in the Qatari capital and will offer a gross leasable space totaling approximately 2.7 million square feet divided into 500 retail units. The opening of Doha Festival City will mark a number of new entries to the local market.

Also part of the $1.65 billion end product will be a number of entertainment venues in Festival City’s leisure complex. The development will include automotive showrooms, world-class hotel brands and a convention center. One major company that has already committed its future to Doha and Basrec’s massive project is IKEA. The Swedish furniture manufacturer and retailer will occupy a large chunk of the available retail space with the country’s first ever IKEA store. The Scandinavian giant has included the move in what has been a recent string of international endeavors.

The city of Doha is one of the emerging cities of the Middle East of the past decade alongside Riyadh, Abu-Dhabi and Dubai.  This is due to heavy injections of capital made by domestic investors that want to see the area become one of the most important financial and entertainment hubs on the globe. A great deal of credit for enhanced activity in the Qatari market is likely due to the fact that the country is set to organize the 2022 edition of the FIFA World Cup in soccer. The honor is a traditional money-maker for countries that obtain the coveted privilege with 2006’s Germany being the best recent example.