Shopper’s paradise

 25 Jan 2018 - 16:10

The Peninsula

The second edition of Shop Qatar festival continues to generate massive interest among residents and tourists, driving huge footfall and sales, which is yet another testament to the country’s resilience amid the unjust blockade imposed by four neighbouring Arab countries.

Efforts of Qatar Tourism Authority in launching Shop Qatar last year as a world-class shopping festival aimed to attract local spending power, as well as regional and international tourism are already bearing fruit.

Figures reveal that the first half of the 32-day festival has already witnessed big success compared to its inaugural edition.

In the first 12 days, more than 103,000 vouchers have entered the raffle draws representing around QR20.6m of spending. The previous year saw 63,000 vouchers in the first 13 days which account to QR12.6m in sales. On top of big discounts and promotions, four BMW cars and QR1m in cash prizes were already given away to 30 lucky shoppers during the first two raffle draws.

More events and activities have been lined up this year and they prove to be a big draw to residents and tourists alike for their diversity and unique appeal to a wide range of audience.

Organising the festival in themed weeks is an excellent concept as it caters to the multicultural population of Qatar as well as entice more tourists from many countries now that Qatar has become the most welcoming country in the GCC opening its doors to the world with visa facilitation measures by granting visa waiver to more than 80 nationalities and free 96-hour transit visa.

From the Arabian Week to Bollywood Week to International Week, the exciting events and activities have been a magnet to many visitors. Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre had seen thousands of people during the three concerts featuring Lebanese singers Yara and Joseph Attieh, Indian singing sensation Sonu Nigam and Grammy Award-winning The Chainsmokers. In addition, the three fashion shows  featuring more than 300 creations of 34 renowned designers from all over the world have been full house.

Various activities hosted at participating malls, workshops and outdoor entertainment are also crowd-drawers.

But the festival is more than mere numbers. Its impact cannot just be measured through footfall, ticket sales and volume of business but on the lasting impression on the country’s image as well as its benefit to the local community.

Compared to last year, the festival has been expanded creating a stronger public-private partnership by involving more private entities and local organisations. Not only does the festival support big malls, it also gives platform to promote local entrepreneurs through pop-up shops.

The festival has once again proved that the country can beat all odds and everything is possible with strong cooperation between public and private sectors.