Mall of Qatar in talks with QTA to boost tourist footfall, says CEO

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2018-08-07 21:04:47Z | |

The management of Mall of Qatar is building its relationship with state-run organisations and discussing ways to attract more tourists to the country in the run up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, chief executive officer Stuart Elder has said.

Elder said the mall has recently been in talks with Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), and is forging “better” ties with Hamad International Airport and national flag carrier Qatar Airways. On Monday, Ooredoo and Mall of Qatar announced a partnership, which is part of the telecommunications company’s efforts to boost its brand inside the mall.

Citing growth in the cruise ship industry, Elder told Gulf Times that Mall of Qatar held a meeting with QTA two weeks ago to discuss ways to make the most of the cruise ship season. “We’re building our relationship with Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) all the time…because the cruise ship industry has grown exponentially over the last three years. We’re working with them on how we can make cruise ships come to Qatar and bring more customers here,” Elder said.

He added: “We’re establishing a better relationship with Hamad International Airport (HIA) and with Qatar Airways because it is all about relationships…that is why we build relationships with organisations like Ooredoo and other companies.”

Asked about progress in footfall and sales, Elder said Mall of Qatar witnessed “good growth” since the mall opened 18 months ago.

“So we’re still, what I would call from experience, ‘stabilising’. You need to have a couple of years before you really have a good pattern of traffic. When we had Dora the Explorer on stage during Eid, we got a lot of new customers who we hadn’t seen before…and we know that those customers who hadn’t seen and experienced the mall would come back.”

“One of our jobs in this mall is to drive traffic, hold events, bring people here, and give them reasons to come, as well as make sure our retail mix is as good as it can be, and it’s the retailers job to translate all of that into sales,” he said.On summer trends, Elder said Mall of Qatar witnessed growth in last year’s traffic, which, he said, “was unusually high” following the June 2017 blockade because residents chose to stay and support the country.

On Eid al-Adha preparations, Elder said the mall will be staging four shows daily of SpongeBob SquarePants, including other activities by Alrayyan TV, Spirit the Horse, Qatar Summer Festival, and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education’s Back-to-School show.

Source: Gulf-Times