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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Children’s mini-city to open in Mall of Qatar in early 2016

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KidzMondo at Mall of Qatar
KidzMondo at Mall of Qatar

With reporting from Peter Kovessy

A miniature city where children would be able to “work” as pilots, doctors or firefighters will be one of the key family attractions at Mall of Qatar when it opens its doors slightly later than planned in early 2016, its operators have announced.

The $824 million (QR3 billion) under-construction mall, situated west of Education City on the Dukhan Highway, has signed a deal with Lebanon-based Kidz Holding to bring children’s center KidzMondo to Doha.

The child-friendly $25 million (QR91 million) project will feature more than 70 scaled-down businesses in an 8,000 sq meter, two-story complex designed to resemble a town, including a central plaza, fire station, clock tower, police station and hospital theater.

KidzMondo at Mall of Qatar
KidzMondo at Mall of Qatar

Children between the ages of two and 14 years old would be able to act out a variety of everyday jobs as well as some of the roles in space, technology or energy which might exist in the future. Supervised by staff, they can earn a salary in the complex’s dedicated currency, and use it to shop in some of the on-site stores.

Design of the mini-businesses is in the final stages and the play center is already under construction, Mall of Qatar said in a statement announcing the deal.

“We feel that allowing children to immerse themselves in a miniature version of the world around them will spark their imagination in a fun and interactive way,” Mall of Qatar’s Managing Director Shem Krey said.

For several of the massive shopping centers popping up in Qatar, such attractions are being seen as critical, with operators branding their ventures as retail, leisure and entertainment destinations.

The quality of the offerings is also being seen as a way for malls to differentiate themselves in a market that’s expected to have an oversupply of retail space in the coming years.

Kidz Holding already runs similar franchises throughout the region, including the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt. The Doha play center aims to attract 300,000 visitors in its first year, the company said on its website.

The concept of educational and role-play focused children’s entertainment centers is becoming increasingly popular internationally and similar facilities in the region are already established, such as a branch of KidZania in Dubai Mall.

Rivals

The KidzMondo center fills the void left after Mall of Qatar parted ways with an operator previously named to run the shopping center’s entertainment area.

Last year, the mall unveiled plans to open a Juniverse family entertainment zone, which was to include an Angry Birds theme park and Virtuosity, an e-gaming zone for teenagers and young adults.

However, in a surprise announcement earlier this year, rival shopping center Doha Festival City – which is also currently under construction – said it would be the home of Juniverse instead.

Separately, Mall of Qatar’s operators appear to have pushed back their opening date from the previously-announced fall of this year to “early 2016.” When it does launch to the public, it will be around one-third larger than Villaggio Mall and will be – briefly – Qatar’ biggest shopping complex until DFC opens next fall.

 Mall of Qatar
Mall of Qatar

Mall of Qatar will have 195,000 sq meters of store space and more than 500 shops. The mall will also feature a 19-screen IMAX cinema, as well as a five-star fashion-themed hotel, the newly launched Curio by Hilton. Neither the mall or hotel will be licensed to serve alcohol.

There will also be a theater in an eight-story central glassed dome, with a resident performance troupe who will put on three or four shows daily on a circular stage. In a style similar to Cirque du Soliel, performers in bright circus-style costumes will combine acrobatics, tricks and traditional theater.

Place Vendôme

Meanwhile, another mega-mall under construction in Qatar has revealed the first component of its entertainment zone.

Place Vendôme - Lusail
Place Vendôme – Lusail

Sean Kelly, the project director for Place Vendôme in Lusail, told Doha News this week at CityScape that he is in discussions with the developers behind the sound, light and water show in Singapore’s Marina Bay. The nightly performances use music, lasers and fountains to entertain residents and visitors in the popular tourist area.

Kelly added that other entertainment amenities would likely be added as the mall’s opening date approaches.

Place Vendôme is inspired by the French landmark of the same name and will feature a canal running around the mall and out to the sea. It is expected to have a built-up area of approximately 800,000 sq meters and some 230,000 sq meters of leasable retail space, nearly double the size of Villaggio mall.

It will also feature two luxury hotels and some 150 serviced apartments.

Kelly said the project remains on track to open in the third quarter of 2017.

Thoughts?

40 COMMENTS

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Chilidog
Chilidog
5 years ago

A mini city for kids? Tell me more! In a country like Qatar, I think the jokes almost write themselves…..

Will this mini city have a mini laborers camp? Will the salaries in the mini city be determined by job function, actual work done, nationality, etc.? Will the kids need an exit permit to leave the mini city?

Tim
Tim
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

You don’t get invited to parties do you.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

he must be the weird kid who kept touching him self in class.LOL

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

What is your obsession with sexual references? Here is not the place for this. You complain about cleavage on show and in the next post you and you alone suggest that people you don’t know are touching themselves inappropriately in public.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Guest

its ment as a JOKE. IF YOU DONT GET IT, NOT MY PROBLEM

desertCard
desertCard
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Will there be mini LCs terrorizing the shoppers?

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

will Qatari kids be subject to harassment from perverts parents,mothers showing to much cleavage than even their kids cant handle. after all its a MINI city.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Will the kids need permission to switch jobs in the mini city?

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

will it be too crowded for Qatari kids by other kids who are spoiled brats .

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

The Qatari kids will not have the education or experience to do the work involved. This is why expat kids will be allowed into the attraction.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Deleting the rest of the thread for devolving.

Michael L
Michael L
5 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

devolving? What’s that Shabina?

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael L

It’s when a thread (whether it be intellectual, light-hearted, etc) takes a turn for the worst, with people attacking each other.

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

Ah don’t take it to heart Shabina. It’s just a load of bored expats suffering from the sun and a general lack of mental and physical stimulation.

Yousef
Yousef
5 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

Can ANY of these kids be taught too RESPECT ALL HUMAN life ….irrespective of the “job” one choose to do in life.

The abuse of domestic help in Qatar and all of the Middle East makes American slavery at its worst seem like a good deal.

Ahmed A
Ahmed A
5 years ago
Reply to  Yousef

Yes slaves were treated much better back then. You have obviously done your research.

qatar
qatar
5 years ago
Reply to  Yousef

yeah. did you read your comment before posting .& America is definitely not in any way a good example any matter.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  Yousef

Deleting for irrelevance.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

would it be to crowded for Qatari kids with ppl who Don’t Reflect their Respect ?

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

kind of like doha news comments really

desertCard
desertCard
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Will there be mini LCs terrorizing shoppers?

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

no ,just over crowded for Qatari Kids , with ppl who don’t respect their values , & want to impose their ideas on them.

TruthItHurts
TruthItHurts
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

hahaha! XD , Expat kids will have to ask for sponsorship from Qatari kids.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  TruthItHurts

Deleting for stereotyping.

Turbohampster
Turbohampster
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

hahaha well played sir!

desertCard
desertCard
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Will there be mini LCs terrorizing the shopping aisles and running over shoppers?

Yummykarak
Yummykarak
5 years ago

The comments are quite bleh. Expats bash Qatar/Qataris bash expats…and the cycle continues. Just people bashing and/or giving rude comments. It’s sad and over such a trivial article.
There’s no sense in it to me.
Quite negative and disappointing. No wonder most news sites close their comments section (my opinion).

Elkhorn
Elkhorn
5 years ago
Reply to  Yummykarak

True – some comments do tend to be overly critical and vitriolic. But for me, comments generally serves as the icing on the cake (or as a spice to a meal – if you don’t like sweets). It helps readers provide their views and opinions. Heck, even some of the comments, help in correcting or improving the article.

And with the Dohanews Team’s ever vigilant monitoring of the comments, I do hope that they don’t remove the comment section.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Elkhorn

If they removed the comments section, there would be no reason to read Doha News!

Elkhorn
Elkhorn
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

There will always be reasons. But it would not be as interesting – as we’ll not be able to voice out our comments. Even I sometimes want to rail against something…

Yummykarak
Yummykarak
5 years ago
Reply to  Elkhorn

I hope they don’t either. I had stated it in response to this post’s comments (which have all been removed). I should have worded myself differently.
Your points are correct in that the comments, at times, can be productive and/or amusing.

The Avenger
The Avenger
5 years ago
Reply to  Yummykarak

Its called irony , you should try it once in a while

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

So my kids, kids will be able to use this once it finally opens. Not sure I will be here at that time. (or still alive)

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Ur interesting comments will always keep you alive. Like Mr Bean thrown from the sky for being mischievous

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

I asumme being a lebanese company they will seperate the children into Shia, Sunni, Druze, Jews and non-affliated then discriminate on the jobs allowed to do and each evening before closing there will be a huge war between all the parties and then they go clubbing.

Hani
Hani
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

You forgot the 5 other Christian sects.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Hani

Yes, silly me.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Deleting for stereotyping.

sadam
sadam
5 years ago

I only came here for the comments.

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago

Never heard of it but that’s got to be a great idea to stoke kids’ imaginations and for parents wanting to shop in peace. Hopefully it will be a properly supervised facility, and maybe the name Shem Krey doesn’t mean much to people but for me it would give me confidence in the safety installations.

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