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 â€œbetterâ€ 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 companyâ€™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. â€œWeâ€™re building our relationship with Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) all the timeâ€¦because the cruise ship industry has grown exponentially over the last three years. Weâ€™re working with them on how we can make cruise ships come to Qatar and bring more customers here,â€ Elder said.
He added: â€œWeâ€™re establishing a better relationship with Hamad International Airport (HIA) and with Qatar Airways because it is all about relationshipsâ€¦that is why we build relationships with organisations like Ooredoo and other companies.â€
Asked about progress in footfall and sales, Elder said Mall of Qatar witnessed â€œgood growthâ€ since the mall opened 18 months ago.
â€œSo weâ€™re still, what I would call from experience, â€˜stabilisingâ€™. 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 hadnâ€™t seen beforeâ€¦and we know that those customers who hadnâ€™t seen and experienced the mall would come back.â€
â€œOne 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 itâ€™s the retailers job to translate all of that into sales,â€ he said.On summer trends, Elder said Mall of Qatar witnessed growth in last yearâ€™s traffic, which, he said, â€œwas unusually highâ€ 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 Educationâ€™s Back-to-School show.