Qatar’s retail sector fared well in 2020 and 2021 despite the global slowdown. Although shopping outlets were forced to close in the spring of 2020 when governments around the world imposed lockdown measures to stem the spread of Covid-19, reopening began as early as that summer. In the months since, retail stores and malls in Qatar have welcomed customers with a range of health guidelines in place. A handful of new malls opened in 2021 and more are expected for 2022, encouraged by pent-up demand for goods and socialising, even as median monthly rents have fallen. Grocery retailers, in particular, were buoyed during the pandemic by online deliveries and minimal disruption to supply due to Qatar’s pre-pandemic drive to boost food security and diversify trading partners.
This chapter contains an interview with Abdul Aziz Mohammed Al Rabban, Co-founder, Place Vendôme, and Chairman and Managing Director, Business Trading Company.