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Satyendra Pathak
Rising number of retail stores, services kiosks and art installations have made Doha Metro stations more than just transit hubs.
With facilities like banking, money exchange, telecom service, pharmacy, travel agent, courier service, health and beauty clinics, laundry, government entities and quick service repair available at most of the operational stations, Doha Metro premises are fast turning into shopping destinations for both passengers and neighbourhood customers.
“Starting from stationary, electronics, florist, accessories, gift and souvenir shops, book stores, sports shop and nutritional supplement to café, quick service restaurant, juice bar and specialty food all are available at Doha Metro stations. Besides, display of artworks at various corners of the stations has made Doha Metro a commuters paradise,” Subhash Ghosh, who travels on Doha Metro regularly to reach his office in West Bay from Wakrah, said.
After the successful launch of retail outlets at most of the operational Red Line stations, Qatar Rail has announced a unique retail opportunity at rest of the Doha Metro stations to be operational soon.
According to Qatar Rail, registration is now open for retailers to submit applications for more than 80 retail units on three lines of Doha Metro.
The application closing date is August 29, 2019, according to a statement issued by Qatar Rail to prospective retailers.
The maximum retail shops are available on the Gold Line numbering around 55 units across ten stations from Ras Bu Abboud to Al Aziziyah. In addition to the retail outlets, stations will also include dedicated spaces for 33 ATMs to serve metro users and neighbourhood customers.
On the Red Line, the retail shops numbering 19 units across five stations from Katara to Lusial and Hamad International Airport T1are available. These stations will also include dedicated spaces for 11 ATM locations.
Eight retail kiosks and two ATM locations are on offer at Al Riffa station on the Green Line.
At all these stations, retailers will be offered four main types of spaces such as services, food and beverage, convenience stores and general retail.
“Our unique retail proposition will be the first in Qatar to offer business access to rail commuters and neighbourhood customers, modular shop format with diverse retail mix. Partitioned shell and core retail space with flooring. Right to occupy term of five years with fixed fee. The fee will be inclusive of service and utility charges like water and electricity,” the statement said.
“We see a lot of people especially visitors from outside Qatar spending time watching various artworks displayed at the station. We have also witnessed more people visiting metro station after opening of Maar stores by Al Meera and banking services by Commercial Bank,” a Doha Metro staff at the DECC station said.
“Doha Metro’s central hub Msheireb Station is bustling with business activities as a number of retail outlets have opened on the station premises. Besides passengers, we see many people from nearby areas visit the station only for the purpose of shopping and banking,” a Doha Metro staff at the Msheireb Station said. The station has also doubled up as a music and art gallery, a passenger said.
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