Villagio Shopping Mall
Read A Review of Villagio - Qatar's Newest Shopping Mall
Location in Qatar
Between Sport City and Hyatt Plaza on Al Waab Street, Doha.
What's Villagio Like?
Quite simply Villagio is the best Mall in Qatar. Although not particularly special on the outside, when you walk inside and look up, the ceilings take your breath away. The ceilings represent the sky and if you didn't know you were inside you could believe you were outside.
Different areas of the mall represent different times of the day so you can see sunset, night (complete with street lamps) and day.
But the icing on the cake for this mall is the canal that runs through the centre, complete with gondola. Bridges cross over the canal, and comfortable chairs line its sides for you to rest your feet. What's more, for a few riyals you can travel, Venetian style, up and down the canal. (See our movie: Gondolas in the Desert.)
Food and Entertainment
The 13 screen IMAX 3D cinema has now arrived, and is displaying superb 3D films as well as the more normal type. Meanwhile, there is an ice-skating rink in the vicinity off the food court. Apparently, there is also going to be roller-coaster, although we are not quite sure where they are going to put it. There's also a great range of cafes and restaurants, including a superb Thai restaurant (avoid the red chicken curry unless you have a tolerance for extremely spicy food) as well as all the usual fast food joints.
But onto the shopping. It's not quite complete, but there will be a total of 220 stores spread over 130,000 sq m of retail space (or 150,000, depending on where you get your information from), which just beats the 129,000 metres of retail space at City Centre Mall, currently the country's largest.
Many of these shops seem to be British but they look better than in Britain. (That's with the exception of Boots, which just does not have the same range as Boots in the UK). Virgin, for example, in addition to a great music and computer selection, has a range of books that puts every other book store in the country to shame.
They were also the first shop in the country where you could buy Apple Computers although Carrefour have now rapidly followed. Then you have Oasis, Topman, Topshop and tonnes of other familiar faces. The supermarket is Carrefour not as good as a British supermarket (you still have to queue to weigh your veg), but you can't have everything.
So It's Busy, Then?
"And what's more, it is not busy at all," this review used to read. It is much busier now, through, although you can normally still get a parking space, though.
As has been noted on the comments section of the article, Villagio, like many other malls, turns away single Asian men. While this is said to be due to a family policy we have never seen a single white man turned away from the mall.
Tel: +974 4135823/4135824