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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Reports: Villaggio mall reopening ‘close;’ Doha awaits criminal court date


More than three months after a fatal fire shuttered Villaggio, the mall appears to be taking one step closer to reopening its doors.

Two representatives from separate retail groups have confirmed to Doha News that they have begun restocking inventories and reassigning employees to the mall, though they add that no official reopening date has been set.

“We have been asked to bring our staff back which suggests the opening is close,” one shop manager said. “Our sponsor expects a date to be given this coming week.”

Previous reports that Villaggio would open last month in time for Eid proved unfounded after Civil Defense officials said more work needed to be done to bring the mall up to code.

Meanwhile, a criminal court hearing to determine responsibility for the May 28 fire that killed 19 people, including 13 children, will reportedly be held on Thursday.

But when reached for comment, the Public Prosecution did not confirm that the trial will take place this week.

And who exactly will be held accountable remains to be seen.

Qatar ordered the detention of mall executives and Gympanzee’s owner after the fire, but they have since been released.

Meanwhile, parents of the children killed in the fire have called for a boycott when the mall finally reopens. 

Calling for answers and justice, the parents, asserting that the “mall should stand as a monument to greed, not a tourist attraction,” said they would also work to inform the global community about the potential hazards awaiting shoppers at Villaggio.


Credit: Photo by Andrea Diener

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