Shoppers return to a ‘safer’ City Center
DOHA SHOPPERS from all over Doha started trooping into the City Center mall when it reopened on Monday after remaining closed for over three weeks to meet safety and security standards set by the Ministry of Interior.
Excited visitors at the mall expressed their joy over the reopening of the centre as it would make shopping for the upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan much easier, particularly with improved safety and security measures in place.
Those who spoke to Qatar Tribune lauded the Ministry of Interior for mandating the shopping centre to improve on its safety facilities in order to prevent the likes of the Villaggio mall fire incident.
Salim, a shopper at the mall, said: “I am happy that City Center is open again. I work nearby and I used to come here to have my lunch. I now feel safer and more secure in mall since there are many emergency exits and adequate evacuation measures in case of any incident.
Although the centre was closed for only 24 days, I felt as if it was closed for 24 months because this is my favourite place where I shop, eat and seek entertainment.” Another shopper, Virginia, said: “I thank the Ministry of Interior for paying attention to security and safety measures at the shopping centres in the country. In fact, the ministry has proved that it cares about the safety and welfare of every individual.” “It was alarming when the Ministry of Interior found out that the City Center mall did not have adequate safety and security devices that can protect lives of customers in case of emergency after the Villaggio inferno. People have been worried about the closure of the two big shopping centres in Doha, the Villaggio and the City Center malls. The closure has put pressure on other shopping malls, which have been witnessing increased influx of buyers. I believe that the reopening of the City Center will bring relief to the residents especially as the Holy Month of Ramadan will start in a few days’ time,” another mall-goer said.
Another buyer at the mall said, “With the Villaggio incident, safety and security procedures have become priorities for both the government agencies and managements of shopping malls and recreation centres. The tragedy has taught us some lessons on how to correct our mistakes and plan for the future.” Ali, a shopper whose family was preparing to leave for vacation, said: “I am happy that the authorities concerned have allowed the reopening of City Center after its management has met the required safety and security standards. In fact, we do not want any further tragedy like what happened at the Villaggio mall.
Safety and security come first.
Shopping can wait if there is a potential threat to people’s lives.
Closing City Center was, for me, a good action by the authorities and is highly appreciated by nationals and expatriates.” Meanwhile, the General Administration of Civil Defence in the Ministry of Interior is preparing to carry out safety inspection in all public and private institutions, companies, malls and residential compounds.