September 12, 2023
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Mall Culture in Qatar - The Place Vendome

Mall Culture is huge in Qatar. Visit any of the country's inordinate number of malls, and you'll understand why.

Shopping centres are no longer just places we swing by to purchase our food, clothes and other necessities. These days, malls are all-day venues designed and built to occupy and entertain us, whatever our age or gender.

Malls are full of shops, from high-end luxury boutiques to mid-range and budget stores; most are lined with cafes, restaurants, food courts and kiosks, we can have our hair cut and nails painted, visit spas or gyms, carry out our practical chores at banks, optometrists and hardware stores, and we can even spend our leisure time at cinemas, theme parks, adventure parks, bowling alleys, gaming centres and much, much more. We can leave our cars with valets, our coats and bags in cloakrooms, our children in supervised playgrounds, or take them to soft play zones, climbing walls, snow parks, kids' entertainment and edutainment centres. Almost everything we need to fulfil our needs is under one roof.

And malls are no longer simple rows of shops housed in slightly clinical-style buildings with escalators; today, our shopping venues lead us down elegant halls dotted with benches, planted areas, artworks and architectural features to awe and amaze. They incorporate gardens and plazas, water features, playgrounds, stages and entertainment zones, wandering theatre troupes, and other wonders. In a nutshell, visiting malls has become a lifestyle rather than a mere necessity.

Qatar has more than its fair share of malls, but one of our favourites is a recent addition to the portfolio, Place Vendome Qatar. The Place Vendome epitomises the notion that a mall is more than a shopping centre; it is a destination!

The Vendomes

If you think the Place Vendome Qatar has a familiar ring to its name, then you would be right. This shopping destination in Qatar's newest city Lusail is inspired by its namesake, the Place Vendome in Paris.

The famous Parisian square in the centre of Paris was built in the 17th century to commemorate the armies of the then King of France, Louis XIV. Originally named the Place Louis-le-Grand, the square was remodelled and renamed Place Vendome in the 18th century. Over the centuries, the Place Vendome, designed and built to exude grandeur with its classic French Baroque-style architecture, has been a royal plaza, a home of opulent public establishments, and the residences of Parisian aristocrats.

Since the early 20th century, the square, which also leads to the historically fashionable luxury shopping destination Rue de la Paix, has continued to attract on-trend investment. The Place Vendome and its surrounding streets have become synonymous with French luxury brands in hotels, haute couture and jewellery. The area remains one of the city's leading destinations for opulence and luxury.

The Place Vendome Qatar has mirrored the Parisian square's classic French style, incorporating Qatar's traditional Arab architecture, and created a venue designed to radiate a similar grandiose setting. The building is a mix of elegance, opulence and grandeur and is thoroughly gorgeous inside and out. The stylish interior boasts a contemporary décor with awe-inspiring features such as huge patterned domed roofs, colossal archways, spectacular façades of floor-to-ceiling glass panels and a canal that winds through the centre to the ocean outside. As a backdrop of magnificence and splendour, the mall is also a hotbed for luxury and designer brands, much like its forebearer. Indeed, adjacent to the four-storey mall are two spectacular towers that house a five-star luxury hotel and deluxe residences and offices of Le Royal Meridien.

The Place Vendome Qatar

Image: Creativity Lover/Shutterstock.com 

Aside from its palatial setting, the mall is a comprehensive destination offering visitors a host of exciting features, including a range of top-notch retail outlets and flagship stores, numerous world-renowned restaurants, a spacious food court with an abundant array of eateries, a multi-screen cinema complex, an entertainment centre, a trampoline park, kids zones, motorboat rides and dancing fountains, as well as live entertainment performances.

If you have never visited Place Vendome Qatar, or even if you have, the following will provide a rundown of what this premier destination offers:

Shops, Stores and Boutiques

Image: Louis Vuitton

With over 580 shops, stores and boutiques, the Place Vendome Qatar is a shopaholic's haven. Set out over four floors; shoppers can peruse stores offering luxury designer fashion, jewellery, watches, eyewear, bags, footwear and homeware to everyday clothing, accessories, furniture and furnishings, electronics, books and stationery, etc.

One can while away the hours browsing in exclusive and prestigious stores such as Stella McCartney, Fendi, Prada, Armani, Alexander McQueen, Manolo Blahnik, Gucci, Valentino, Jimmy Choo, Hermes, Vogue and Tom Ford. Lovers of high-end products can also find Louis Vuitton's biggest store in the Middle East at Place Vendome, as well as one of the largest Dior outlets in the MENA region, and Guerlain, the region's largest flagship boutique. Even mini-haute couture fans are catered for at the mall with brands such as Baby Dior, Burberry Kids, Dolce and Gabbana for Kids, Gucci Kids, Versace Kids, Fendi Kids and R&B Kids. Health and beauty product fanatics can also enjoy a brand-new Sephora spread out over three floors of the mall, complete with a grooming bar, lip bar, fragrance galley, beauty lounge and hub.

While much of the mall's northeast is given over to luxury brands, the rest of the venue offers a host of commonplace shops and stores. You can wander the shop floors of H&M, Zara, Pull & Bear, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Urban Outfitters, Levi's, Fred Perry, Kendal & Kylie, Lululemon, Oysho, Super Dry, Addidas, The North Face, Rituals, Benefit, Clarins, Boots, Virgin, Homes r Us, Daiso, Samsung, LC Waikiki and Monoprix – to name but a few.

Dining and Drinking

Image: QatarLiving

Place Vendome visitors are also offered a plethora of choices when it comes to dining out or stopping for light refreshments. A host of cafes and restaurants, bakeries, patisseries and confectioners, and a fast-food court can be found on the mall's premises. Generally speaking, most cafes and restaurants are located on the mall's Lower Ground and Second Floors.

Foodies can find popular restaurants such as Wagamama's, Eataly, New Shanghai, Yasmine Palace, Meat Moot, Gunaydin, Taste & Delight, Zennup, Sushi Library, Jar and Habra, and cafes such as Volume Café, Arabica Café and Tim Hortons at Basement Level. For Instagrammers looking for a 'grammable venue to visit, other than the mall itself, the Rosemary Café on the Lower Ground Floor is elegant and sophisticated, the food is sublimely presented, and the rose-covered canopy that carpets the outdoor terrace makes a truly awesome background for some fantastic photos.

The Second-Floor level, including the fast-food court, accommodates various eateries, cafes, sweets and dessert shops. You can dine around the world in restaurants and outlets such as McDonald's (American), Wok Express (Chinese), Attila Mongolian Grill (Mongolian), Aussie's Grill (Australian), Amigos (Mexican), Soy Tokyo (Japanese), Shiraz Palace (Iranian), Eatalian (Italian), Papa John's (American/Italian), Royal Cup (International), and Basilur Lounge (Sri Lankan). Or sup coffee and eat cake in venues such as the Soho Coffee Co., the tiny Butterfly Café, Café Delord, Go-Ssip Café, Ralph's Coffee, the Molten Chocolate Café, the Mongolian Bakery, Café Boutique and Chocolate Bash – a must for all chocolate addicts!

Several cafes, such as Starbucks, Tim Horton's, One Three One and Aimee's Café, are housed on the Ground and First Floors. However, the most notable is the Vogue Café on the First Floor – if you want to immerse yourself in luxury chic magazine-style decor and eat exquisitely plated dishes, this is the place for you.

Entertainment and Leisure

Image: QatarLiving

The Place Vendome Qatar has an array of leisure and entertainment venues behind its palatial walls. From family-friendly and child-centred activities to past-times suitable for all ages, the mall offers plenty of distractions other than shopping and eating. Most leisure attractions are located on the Second Floor, though Le Navire and the Dancing Fountains can be found on the Ground Floor.

NOVO Cinema Complex

NOVO Cinemas is one of the largest cinema chains in the Middle East. In Qatar, there are seven NOVO movie theatres, all offering a variety of experiences. The Place Vendome NOVO on the mall's Second Floor includes VIP 7-Star and VIP Majlis screens. 

The 7-star option at Place Vendome's Novo cinema, with a private VIP lounge, a personal butler service, a gourmet menu (served lounge or screen side), and sumptuous and stylish, fully reclining seats, complete with individual side tables, reading lights, cushions and blankets, is designed for the ultimate cinematic experience in the lap of luxury.  

The Majlis screens, with crushed velvet sofa seating for two, offer an even greater ultra-exclusive experience. Each sofa comes with its own full-dining table to allow you to sample a four-course meal comprised of classic dishes from around the world, delivered by a personal butler.  

The limited seats for both screen styles are arranged in twos, with plenty of space between each pair to ensure relaxed, cosy interludes. 

Book tickets via the NOVO Qatar website if you fancy watching a movie in VIP style and comfort.

Costs: Novo 7-Star: QAR 175 per person (includes a 75 QAR food voucher) Majlis: QAR 500 for two (includes a 75 QAR food voucher)

Website: https://qa.novocinemas.com/

Trocadero

The Trocadero is a large amusement park located on the mall's Second Floor. Decked out like a magical mountain kingdom, with a life-sized tree house at its centre, the park is perfect for kids and adults alike. Guests can enjoy bowling on a six-laned alley, laser tag, bumper boats on water, a double-level bumper car game, a roller coaster, a monorail, a drop tower, bungee trampolines, swing carousels, arcade and video games, and mini carousels for the youngest visitors. However, the shining star must be the go-karting experience.  

The indoor karting venue has been cleverly designed to save space and is built over two levels. The continuous 220 m course has a lower-level track of 85 m and an upper level of 135 m, with sloping sections and ramps adding a new dimension of fun and skill for racers. The track is lit by neon lighting marking the edges of the course, giving the circuit a modern look and an almost nighttime feel - perfect for honing yet another driving skill. Plus, twelve riders can race the course at any one time, meaning there is plenty of scope for some competition on the course. 

All of the rides at the Trocadero are priced individually, and some will be subject to height restrictions. To access the rides, you must purchase a Trocadero card and add credits at the park's reception desk. Some arcade and video games offer tickets on completion of game levels; these can be exchanged at the Rewards Shop for an array of exciting prizes.

Hours: Saturday to Wednesday, 10 am - 10 pm 

Thursday, 10 am - 12 am

Friday, 2 pm - 12 am


Costs: Trocadero card: QAR 50 (QAR 10 per card with QAR 40 credit)

Minimum credit top up is QAR 30 / Costs per ride and arcade/video game vary between QAR 20 for smaller rides/games and QAR 75 for an 8-minute karting session

Jumpino

Jumpino is one of Qatar's largest trampoline parks at just over 2,300 sqm. The park has a huge free-jumping arena of interconnected trampolines, which include flip and tricks walls and airbags. However, there is plenty more on offer at this adventure park. Kids and adults can try out their aerial manoeuvres on a 3D wall (a high-performance trampoline surrounded on three sides by padded walls, which can be used to perform flips and twists), practise their slam dunks in basketball courts, play dodgeball, test their climbing skills on bouldering walls, or challenge each other to run the gauntlet on a Ninja Warrior course, with high-level obstacles and airbags to catch anyone who falls.  

If you're feeling competitive, try any of the park's interactive jumping games, including motion-sensing video games projected onto screens above the trampolines and ball pits. The game system captures the user's jumping movement and synchronises it to the activities in the projection - a novel way to mix gaming with exercise.

Hours: Saturday to Wednesday, 10 am - 10 pm; 

Thursday and Friday, 10 am - 12 am

(All visitors must wear socks)

Costs: QAR 100 per hour / QAR 180 per two hours (kids and adults)

Contact: +974 4006 0269

Website: https://jumpinotrampoline.com/

Email: [email protected]

Instagram: @jumpinoqatar

Kid’s Corner

Kid's Corner is an interactive play area for Place Vendome's younger visitors. The venue is located on the mall's Second Floor next to the Kiddy Zone shop and is a delightful place for kids to spend a pair of hours.  

Kid's Corner is instantly recognisable by the grand floor piano across the entrance, tempting little musicians to come over and play a tune with their feet. Once inside the indoor playground, other child-friendly, interactive and educational activities can be enjoyed. Kids can build and create at Lego walls and Lego tables, develop their fine motor at interactive play walls, let their imaginations run wild in the dress-up corner or the fully stocked toy kitchen zone, draw and colour at craft tables, as well as a myriad of other hands-on activities. More active pursuits include a soft play structure, complete with slides, swings, balance and climbing equipment, a ball pit and trampolines – all of which come complete with interactive digital games.  

If you have kids that need a break from the arduous task of shopping with parents, this is a great stop to give them some respite.

Hours: Saturday to Thursday, 10 am - 10 pm; 

Friday, 12 pm - 11 pm

Contact: +974 7775 9824

Instagram: kids_cornerqatar

Caboodle

Caboodle is another indoor playground on the Second Floor of the mall. However, while parents and kids will enjoy this bright, vibrant play area with multitudes of fun activities on offer, Caboodle is best known for its Drop 'n' Shop service.  

Drop 'n' Shop allows parents to drop their children at Caboodle and leave them to play for a few hours in a safe, secure environment supervised by experienced and trained (childcare, safety and first aid) staff. 

Kids can enjoy arts and crafts, dressing up, imaginative play, with a host of roleplay toys on offer, building and construction toys, playdough, books, age-appropriate video games and movies, storytelling, face painting, and ad-hoc activities and games led by staff. Caboodle also houses a soft play area for older kids and a jungle gym for younger visitors. 

In addition to the playground, Caboodle accommodates an on-site kid's salon, offering haircuts, styling, and nail treatments. Any service bought at the salon also includes free kid's entry to the play area for 30 minutes. 

If you don fancy a couple of hours of child-free shopping, rest assured your little ones will be safe and sound – each child is assigned to a specific staff member on entry and can only leave when signed out by the parent or guardian who signed them in.

Hours: Saturday to Wednesday, 10 am - 10 pm; 

Thursday and Friday, 10 am - 12 am

Costs: Stay & Play: QAR 65 per hour (up to 12 years) / QAR 35 per additional hour / QAR 250 daily pass / QAR 25 per guardian (12+ years)

Shop & Drop: QAR 95 per child per hour (12 months to 12 years)

Contact: +974 4482 3233

Website: http://caboodle.qa/en/

Email: [email protected]

Instagram: @caboddle_qatar

Facebook: @caboddle-pamper-and-play-Qatar

Magic Village

Magic Village is an arts and crafts shop designed especially for kids. Located on the mall's Second Floor, the crafty venue is bright and cheery, filled with kid-sized tables and chairs, and stocked to the rafters with materials and resources. 

Through various arts and crafts activities, little artists will be encouraged to be creative and expressive. Kids can paint or draw freehand or on printed mediums, such as canvases, t-shirts, bags and masks. They can also decorate cakes, make slime, mould air-dried clays, paint ceramics, and a host of other crafts. 

Magic Village is a great place to take your kids if they love a creative outlet.

Hours: Saturday to Wednesday, 10 am - 10 pm; 

Thursday and Friday, 10 am - 12 am

Costs: Activities range in price

Contact: +974 3307 7070

Website: https://magicvillage.qa/

Email: [email protected]

Instagram: @magicvillage.qa

Facebook: @magicvillage.qa

TomVR

TomVR is a small but intensely exciting virtual reality station on the mall's Second Floor. Space age style motorbikes, chairs, a space-style aircraft and a flying carpet provide interactive simulator experiences that allow players to immerse themselves in land and air races, space odysseys, rollercoaster rides, air combat adventures and more – one of the simulators even turns its guest's upside down mid-flight! Plus, individual VR games, where VR goggles are the only equipment needed, allow players to dance, fight and perform a multitude of other games, all standing on the spot. 

Players of all ages can rock up to TomVR and join in the fun; no matter whether you're young or old, you will enjoy either playing or watching the comic squeals, giggles and surprises of family and friends as they suspend real-time for the incredibly realistic world of virtual reality.

Hours: Saturday to Wednesday, 10 am - 10 pm; 

Thursday and Friday, 10 am - 12 am

Costs: Activities range in price

Contact: +974 6694 4071

Email: [email protected]

Instagram: @tomvrar

Facebook: @tomvrar

The Dancing Fountains

The centre of the Place Vendome mall also incorporates a spacious outdoor plaza surrounded by the building's baroque facades that house designer boutiques and shops and beautiful terraced cafes. The piece-de-resistance is a large water feature that includes dancing water fountains.  

The fountains across the limestone pond are lit at night and synchronised to 'dance' in time to music. The colourful display operates on the hour, every hour, from 7 pm - 11 pm. If you can get a spot to watch the displays at one of the well-placed coffee shops or restaurants situated on the terrace area that overlooks the performance area, it makes the whole experience all the sweeter.

Le Navire

Le Navire, French for the boat, is a ride experience for guests to the Place Vendome. Located on the Ground Floor, a canal runs from the ocean outside to the central outdoor plaza, past the dancing fountains, and back out to the sea. Small electric motorboats can be hired at the outdoor plaza, allowing intrepid sailors to view their surroundings from an altogether different standpoint.  

The boats accommodate four people, two up front (one is the driver) and two at the back. If you prefer to avoid driving the vessel, you can always have a driver captain the boat. Each boat ride is 20 minutes long, and sailors can buy a printed digital photo at the end of their adventure.

Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 9:30 am - 12 am

Costs: Sunday to Thursday, 9:30 am – 4 pm: QAR 50 or QAR 100 with captain

(digital photo, QAR 25 / printed photo QAR 40)

Sunday to Thursday, 4 pm onwards: QAR 70 or QAR 100 with captain

(digital photo, QAR 25 / printed photo QAR 40)

Friday/Saturday, 9:30 am – 12 am: QAR 70 or QAR 100 with captain

(digital photo, QAR 25 / printed photo QAR 40)

The Nitty-Gritty

Image: Sephora

If the above description of the Place Vendome has whetted your appetite for a visit, or you'd like some additional information, check out the following:

Location: Wadi Al Gaeya, Lusail, Qatar

Location Map: Place Vendôme Mall

Nearest Metro: Legtaifiya Metro Station on the Red Line - take the Lusail Tram from Legtaifiya to Lusail Central on the Orange Line to arrive adjacent to the mall’s entrance.

Parking: Free

Opening hours: Saturday to Wednesday, 10 am – 11 pm

Thursday to Saturday, 10 am - 12 am

Contact: +974 4144 0000

Email: [email protected]

Website: http://www.placevendomeqatar.com/

Instagram: @placevendomeqatar

Facebook: @PlaceVendomeQa

Main image: Fitria Ramli/Shutterstock.com

Published: September 12, 2023
Last updated: September 12, 2023
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