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Thursday, February 25, 2021

New York Times names Qatar’s AlHazm one of world’s coolest malls

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Al Hazm shopping center
Al Hazm shopping center

A QR3 billion Italian-inspired upcoming shopping center in Qatar has been dubbed one the most cultured, “coolest” new malls in the world by the New York Times.

Al Emadi’s AlHazm is slated to open this September (a ways behind its initial plans) and hopes to cater to residents who prefer shopping in Europe to Doha.

Al Hazm shopping center
Al Hazm shopping center

Speaking to Doha News last year, marketing director Soufiane El Ouazzani said what sets the center apart is its luxury options:

“There is no food court, or franchise chains. This is a destination because it is a customized service for each person. You will be known by name.”

Other malls to make the NYT shortlist were:

  • Aishti by the Sea, a mall that opened on the waterfront in Beirut last year that also has museum space;
  • Bikini Berlin, a concept mall next the city zoo that showcases emerging designers with pop-up exhibitions and houses tech and design stores; and
  • The Commons, a new Bangkok mall where food and artisanry take center stage.

A slice of Milan

To the NYT, one of the most compelling aspects of AlHazm is that it’s been built to mirror some of the features of Italy’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls.

That complex is housed in a 19th century double arcade in Milan, among other different Italian buildings.

AlHazm fixtures include a 40m-wide glass dome, one of the largest in Qatar, and 200-year-old olive trees imported from Sicily.

Al Hazm shopping center
AlHazm shopping center

The mall also considers it a mission to promote art, culture, and luxury, and plans to include an in-house library with several rare manuscripts and encyclopedias, reading rooms and books related to art, architecture, culture and the Islamic world.

Speaking to the NYT, Georges Bou Ibrahim, the mall’s creative director, said:

“Alhazm is not only about shopping; we are a creating a new lifestyle destination.”

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