Stay cool while shopping in outdoor malls, which offer air-conditioned walkways so you may shop until you drop.

With Qatar’s high temperatures and humidity in the summer, locals and tourists alike avoid the outdoors, opting for indoor entertainment, especially malls, for shopping, dining and entertainment.

All of Qatar’s malls and other shopping destinations are air-conditioned, even outdoor malls and commercial complexes. Although there are a few outdoor shopping destinations, they are popular even in the summer due to their cooling system.


21 High St

Set in a prestigious location in the heart of Katara Cultural Village, 21 High st is an outdoor luxury shopping complex and multi-dimensional project, established in 2019. Developed and managed by Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding, it’s dubbed as ‘The Ultimate Outdoor Shopping Destination’.

Built on approximately 40,000 sq m, 21 High st is home to luxury, fashion, watches and jewellery brands from all around the world, including the iconic French department store, Galeries Lafayette. It also features some exclusive dining options and cafés, as well as gourmet retail outlets.

With a series of features, some of which are the first of their kind in Qatar or worldwide, 21 High st offers a unique outdoor shopping experience with a regulated, cool, comfortable outdoor environment to enjoy throughout the year. It is believed to be the world’s first outdoor air-conditioned street set out at around 20°C. The outdoor cooling system offers visitors a comfortable and cool climate. The magnificent architecture with wide open spaces and unique ancient European style makes it an appealing, walkable destination for visitors.

You can blissfully forget about the soaring temperature of 40°C and the humidity level, and walk under the open blue sky at 25°C as you browse through the exclusive boutiques and outdoor cafés on the street. For more information, visit 21highst.net


ALHAZM

One of Qatar’s most luxurious and extravagant destinations, ALHAZM captivates its guests with its magnificent structural beauty. Inspired by European architecture, ALHAZM has mesmerising corridors and interior walls handcrafted using Tuscan marble, making it nothing less than architecturally regal.

Guests at ALHAZM can wander through the verdant central gardens with the outdoor pavilions, shaded kiosks or even climb a small hill for an engrossing view and a gentle breeze. Guests can also enjoy the scenery of the beautiful water fountains and a flower garden encircled by ancient majestic olive trees. All this while enjoying al fresco dining at opulent restaurants and cafés.

In addition, ALHAZM features a state-of-the-art outdoor cooling system and a heat absorbing marble floor, making it the perfect and ideal venue to visit at any time of the year. It is believed to be the first-ever mall to have outdoor air conditioning at 19°C for a cooler dining and shopping experience. For more information, visit alhazm.com


Place Vendôme


Place Vendôme is a mixed use development in Lusail City, which opened in 2022. The 1,150,000 sq m development hosts the 5-star luxury hotel Le Royal Méridien, and a mall featuring up to 560 different retail outlets with an exclusively luxurious wing dedicated to top designer labels, and a central entertainment component showcasing constant attractions.

The Parisian-inspired development is reminiscent of the famous high-end shopping street in Paris, Rue de la Paix, of which Place Vendôme is the starting point. The architecture is intended to radiate luxury and extravagance while conveying a touch of cultural and artistic feel, setting the tone for the entire shopping experience. Place Vendôme also features a canal running through it directly from the sea, making for a gorgeous open plaza experience with a dancing fountain, and cafés and restaurants overlooking the water. In addition, the open plaza features outdoor air conditioning, equipped with air conditioning vents on the ground. For more information, visit placevendomeqatar.com


Souq Waqif (soon)


In the historic site of Souq Waqif, the traditional marketplace has long been a lively destination for an array of Middle Eastern merchandise from spices and seasonal delicacies such as fresh dates and nuts, to perfumes, ornate jewellery, clothing, handicrafts and souvenirs with bustling alleys of authentic, traditional commerce, architecture and culture. Just this year, Souq Waqif has newly installed an air-conditioning system with cool air releasing from the ground, although they are not yet operational as of writing. For more information, visit souqwaqif.qa


Tornado Dune Plaza

Opened in early 2024, Tornado Dune Plaza is the newest air-conditioned outdoor destination in the heart of Al Dafna’s business district. It’s a venue where people can shop, dine and be entertained. It’s a networking community for both established and upcoming businesses, where ideas can grow and entrepreneurs can innovate. A fundamental element is the state-of-the art cooling system to ensure consistent comfort throughout the year. From free Wi-Fi to uninterrupted outdoor cooling and easily accessible parking, Tornado Dune Plaza offers an array of amenities while you enjoy the incredible view and impressive environment. For more information, visit duneplaza.com


West Walk

In Al Waab is West Walk, Doha’s newest integrated community, providing an innovative and exciting new district tailored to the needs of modern living with essentials for a contemporary live-work-play lifestyle for residents, business people and leisure visitors alike.

West Walk is a luxurious multi-dimensional destination with luxury apartments, offices, restaurants, a cinema, an indoor shopping mall, an upcoming hotel (Hilton Garden Inn), and other dining, shopping and entertainment offerings.

At West Walk, its popular dining promenade creates the ideal comfortable climate throughout the year with an outdoor air-conditioning or climate-controlled promenade. West Walk is believed to have Qatar’s longest cooling promenade and has a range of activities, residential spaces and workspaces. For more information, visit westwalk.qa


Air-conditioned car parking
The majority of the car parking spaces for malls and other shopping centres are air-conditioned – these are non-outdoor car parking spaces. In Souq Waqif, the underground car parking with an entrance on Al Corniche Street has space for 650 vehicles, and includes 12 automated payment devices for paying parking fees. Also, stay cool while parking in Place Vendôme, Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD) and other places.

Al Bidda Parking Locations

Other outdoor, air-conditioned destinations
In an attempt to encourage its residents to stay active and healthy in the outdoors during Qatar’s scorching summer, the Ministry of Municipality, represented by Public Parks Department and Municipalities, recently opened public parks with air-conditioned tunnels and tracks, such as Al Gharrafa Park, Umm Al Seneem Park and Oxygen Park.


By Ola Diab

This feature is from Marhaba’s upcoming M90 issue, which comes out in September 2024. Stay tuned!

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