Qatar to build world’s first outdoor air conditioned plaza

Developers hope ground cooling technology will keep shoppers comfortable at a new retail plaza in Doha, Qatar, where temperatures regularly exceed 40°C. 

The world’s first outdoor air-conditioned plaza will be built in the new Katara Cultural Village, and will take up around a quarter of the City Center Mall’s retail area. 

The 38,000 sq m Katara Plaza will feature a dedicated children’s mall designed to look like a wrapped present, the Middle East’s first Evian spa and Galeries Lafayette department store. 

Managing the commercial development is the Ali Bin Ali Group, who will work with the state-backed Katara Cultural Foundation. 

Nabeel Ali Bin Ali, vice-chairman of the Ali Bin Ali Group, told Doha News: "We expect that Katara Plaza (will) unlock a unique world-class shopping experience offering the Qatari market many first-of-its-kind experiences." 

Ground cooling technology was previously exhibited during public screenings of 2014 World Cup at the Cultural Village. Many spectators actually said they were cold while in the cooling areas. 

The Katara Cultural Village has attracted one million visitors each year since it opened in 2010. 

The plaza is set to open in 2016. 

Image: Artists impression of the Katara Plaza, Doha

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