*An 21.7% increase in total number of tickets entered in raffle draws compared to 2017 n Festival’s month-long events took residents and visitors on a world tour
The curtain has been drawn on the second edition of Shop Qatar after a month of celebrating and showcasing the best Qatar has to offer in retail, fashion and entertainment.
The festival’s grand finale held at Doha Festival City (DHFC)’s Centre Court on Thursday evening saw a series of live entertainment shows crowned with a special performance by Lebanese artiste Ramy Ayach.
The night’s events wrapped up with the fourth and final raffle draw, announcing the last 15 of 60 winners to claim their share of the festival’s eight BMW cars and cash prizes worth QR4mn.
The festival was organised by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).
Running from January 7 to February 7, Shop Qatar recorded a 21.7% increase in tickets entered in the raffle draws compared to last year’s inaugural edition, QTA said in a statement.
“The 2018 edition was a celebration of the country’s diverse retail offerings against a backdrop of colourful cultural activities from across the globe. Held under the slogan ‘A Brand New Tradition’, Shop Qatar 2018 offered something for all residents and visitors, including shopping promotions, live performances, beauty and fashion-forward events, as well as ticketed concerts that were fully sold out,” the statement noted.
Mashal Shahbik, director of Tourism Events & Festivals at QTA, said: “We were very pleased to see the collaborative spirit shown by the various private and public sector partners who continue to work together to keep this brand-new tradition exciting and enriched with authentic Qatari experiences.
“Shop Qatar 2018 is the first of many festivals lined up this year, and we look forward to build on the momentum with the ninth edition of the Qatar International Food Festival for which plans are already well under way.”
With 13 participating malls, covering nearly 1,000,000sqm of retail space, the festival shed a spotlight on the new and enticing additions to Qatar’s burgeoning retail scene.
Participating malls included, AlKhor Mall, City Center, Doha Festival City, Gulf Mall, Hyatt Plaza, Lagoona Mall, Landmark Mall, Mall of Qatar, Tawar Mall, The Gate Mall, Villaggio, Ezdan Mall and Dar Al Salam Mall.
In support of local entrepreneurs, Shop Qatar erected 30 popup shops in Mall of Qatar where small businesses benefited from the high footfall generated by the festival, all while providing the mall’s visitors with an authentic Qatari experience, the organisers said.
In total, 75 different local businesses had an opportunity to showcase their products at the popup shops.
Through the festival’s partnership with Qatar Development Bank, 32 SMEs incubated and supported by the bank were given an opportunity to take part in the festival.
And, in the last weekend of the festival, Shop Qatar collaborated with Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar to hold an exclusive trunk show at DHFC, which saw nine students, alumni and faculty showcasing their latest ready-to-wear creations, abayas and accessories.
The festival concerts, fashion shows, workshops and makeup classes were all presented by Qatar-based private companies, Talent Resources and The Social Studio.
Rahat Mansour, director of Events at Talent Resources Qatar, said: “We would like to sincerely thank QTA for their trust with and giving us the opportunity to showcase our capabilities on such a large scale in the second edition of Shop Qatar. Partnering with QTA has empowered us as a private company to participate in the national efforts to promote Qatar as an attractive destination and home for world-class events.”
Hamzeh Zahr, managing director of The Social Studio, added: “We are very pleased to have entertained more than 7,000 music fans through the two sold-out concerts we organised during Shop Qatar. The success we have seen was possible only thanks to QTA’s support.”
In line with Qatar’s message of welcoming the world, Shop Qatar 2018 was a colourful celebration of the world’s diverse cultures.
In each of its differently themed weeks, the DHFC invited Qatar’s residents and visitors on a tour around the globe to discover something new.
The festival attracted singing sensations from Lebanon (Yara and Joseph Attiyeh), India (Sonu Nigam) and the US (The Chainsmokers).
A variety of fashion shows brought a dazzling display by celebrity designers from East and West, including Fouad Sarkis, Yousef AlJasmi, Alejandro Resta and Vikram Phlankis, whose fashion show witnessed the participation of Bollywood superstar Kareena Kapoor.
Makeup artists Hanan al-Najada from Kuwait and Hollywood’s own Joyce Bonelli shared tips for perfecting the 2018 look.
QTA introduced the annual shopping festival in 2017 following the notable growth of Qatar’s retail sector, matched by its strong contribution to tourism spending.
According to the draft Tourism Satellite Account, shopping generates a bigger portion of tourism spending — from both local and foreign tourists — than hotel bookings or food and beverage.
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