James Swallow

Harvey Nichols to set up shop in Doha

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The upmarket fashion retailer Harvey Nichols is set to open its first store in Qatar. This will be one of only a handful of stores it has around the world.

A Delight for Doha

This is a story that many consumers in Qatar will be delighted with; on the face of it, I can see this working very well.

The store will open early in 2017 – the Doha Festival City mall (where the store will be based) will open several months earlier however in September 2016.

The opening of Harvey Nichols in Leeds is widely considered to have put that city on the map in the UK and further afield.

The store in Doha will only be the companies 8th venture outside of the United Kingdom, though it won’t be the only store in the Gulf with the retailer already having capitalised on the market in Dubai, Riyadh and Kuwait.

What this means for retail in Qatar

Upon completion, Harvey Nichols will become the biggest shopping mall in Qatar. It will host 550 outlets including 85 restaurants and cafes.

The only tenant currently operating from the site is the Swedish furniture giant IKEA which finally opened its first store in the country last year.

Construction on “Harvey Nicks” started in October 2011 on Doha Festival City, with the work on the foundations beginning in January of this year.

However, Harvey Nicks isn’t the only shopping destination to open in Qatar in the next couple of years; Mall of Qatar is due to open next year. This competition will give customers in Qatar plenty of choice.

Final thoughts…

Harvey Nichols’ chief executive Stacey Cartwright observed that one of the reasons for expanding into the Qatari market was due to the “significant growth” in the country.

Certainly, it’s easy to see why so many luxury brands want to set up shop in a region that boasts some of the highest levels of disposable income in the world.

It seems that the future of retail in Qatar will continue to go from strength to strength for some time to come.

 

James Swallow is Commercial Director of Middle East based PRO Partner Group. PRO Partner Group specialises in providing foreign investors with a seamless and financially efficient means to setting up a profitable corporate presence in the UAE, Qatar and Oman.

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