In conversation with Robert hall GM Doha Festival City

In conversation with Robert hall GM Doha Festival City By A Robin - January 25, 2024
Robert hall

Robert hall

Before we begin, can you tell the audience a bit about yourself, about who Robert Hall is? 

Over the course of my extensive three-decade career in retail and mall management spanning the Middle East and the UK, my journey has been a continuous pursuit of excellence. At the helm of Doha Festival City, I'm committed to transforming the mall into a premier leisure, entertainment, and retail destination in Qatar. I bring to this commitment my vast experience and an unwavering passion for crafting world-class shopping experiences. 

Having worked at multiple avenues across the UK and the Middle East, could you tell us about how Qatar compares to the UK and the Middle East? 

Drawing from my experiences in both the UK and the Middle East, I've gained invaluable insights into the unique aspects of each market. Qatar distinguishes itself with its unique blend of traditional values and modern aspirations, creating a dynamic and rapidly evolving business landscape. This unique fusion offers a distinct and exciting challenge in retail and mall management, particularly in the areas of consumer engagement and innovative retail experiences. We take pride in providing a world-class destination in alignment with the State of Qatar 2023 Vision for the people of Qatar.

You joined DHFC in 2018 what was your vision then and have you achieved the milestones that you set out for yourself when it comes to this Mall? 

I envisioned creating an unparalleled retail and leisure destination. I am pleased to share that we have made significant strides in realizing this vision, transforming Doha Festival City into a vibrant hub that seamlessly integrates shopping with leisure and entertainment. Additionally, Doha Festival City has been recognized as a top 30 trading center in the world. This evolution reflects our commitment to providing an exceptional experience that resonates with our diverse clientele. 

You presided over one of the toughest periods in terms of business during Covid Times, what strategy did you employ to overcome the obstacles faced? 

The pandemic presented unprecedented challenges, and our response at Doha Festival City was to swiftly adapt with a focus on safety, digital innovation, and tenant support. We implemented rigorous health measures, enhanced our digital presence, and provided crucial support to our tenants, ensuring the mall remained a safe and vibrant community hub.

Starting in 2018 till now how do you feel the Qatari Market has changed, in terms of demographics and interests? 

The Qatari market has undergone noticeable transformations since 2018. There's been a shift in consumer demographics and interests, reflecting a more diverse and globally-influenced audience. At Doha Festival City, we've been keenly attuned to these changes, constantly innovating and adapting to meet the evolving needs and preferences of our customers. With an extensive array of 500 stores and over 100 Mall Kiosks, we support local business entrepreneurs, collaborate with local investors, and partner with international trade entities. Our offerings include a selection of both local and globally renowned brands, providing our guests with unparalleled choices for a truly exceptional shopping experience. 

What is your opinion on Shop Qatar as an initiative? 

Shop Qatar is an engaging initiative that aligns seamlessly with our commitment at Doha Festival City to delivering exceptional shopping experiences and fostering cultural connections. The initiative not only adds a unique and exciting dimension to the mall's appeal but also benefits shoppers by offering them diverse and engaging shopping experiences, exclusive deals, and a chance to participate in exciting events and activities, creating the opportunity for even more rewards.

As we approach the grand closing ceremony that will take place on January 27 at The Village, I'm excited to witness the vibrant parade, mega raffle draw, and the bestowal of prestigious awards. These elements symbolize not just the success of the festival but also a celebration of our culture and our commitment to our community. 

How did the partnership come into being between Shop Qatar & DHFC?

The partnership between Doha Festival City and Shop Qatar is rooted in our shared commitment to providing visitors with an unforgettable shopping extravaganza. This collaboration was forged based on our mutual goals of enhancing the retail landscape in Qatar and creating unique experiences for shoppers. By aligning with Shop Qatar, the mall solidifies its position as a premier destination that goes beyond traditional shopping, offering a dynamic and engaging environment for visitors during the festival. We both applaud and support the efforts of Visit Qatar in presenting this nationwide initiative. 

How do you see the impact of Shop Qatar on overall sales and business for malls across Qatar especially in terms of DFC’s future? 

Shop Qatar plays a pivotal role in shaping the retail landscape in Qatar, and the upcoming grand closing ceremony will further underscore its impact. The festival's ability to attract increased footfall, host dynamic events, and facilitate cultural celebrations significantly contributes to our ongoing growth and success. With the closing ceremony featuring prizes, activities, and unique performances, Shop Qatar creates an engaging and memorable experience that will capture everyone's interest. By participating in Shop Qatar, Doha Festival City strengthens its position as a retail leader in Qatar, ensuring a positive trajectory for our business in the years to come. We aim to provide a most memorable moment, especially for the country’s winners. 

By A Robin - January 25, 2024

Leave a comment