When I found out that there is a Venice themed mall in Doha, I told the wife that we had to go. The concept is interesting, with a fake painted sky and a canal in the middle of the mall. This is in fact not unique to Doha. The concept probably borrows heavily from The Venetian hotels in Las Vegas and Macau. The Marina Bay Sands mall in Singapore also has a canal in the middle where you can pay to go on a little boat ride.
However it is different enough in the list of malls that were near to us that I simply wanted to check it out. I do like the cheesiness of themed malls.
I don’t remember much of the shops, just like any other mall they are the same kinds of international brands ranging from midmarket to high-end stuff. I expressed my interest in procuring a nice Burberry coat to my wife, and when I told her the price she looked at me like I was insane. I did get a shirt that has bananas printed on it, because the daughter thought it was amusing. Hooray for New Year’s sales.
But the highlight of the mall is definitely the details that the designers have put on the interiors. If you don’t think about it too much, it really feels like you’re in a cleaned up version of an old Italian city. I think it’s mostly Venice, but some parts have a Florentian vibe to me, not sure why.
Very glitzy and glamorous! Venetian details in the Villagio Mall
My wife and I wondered at the point of selling small designer dresses in the Middle East if Arab women have to cover up anyway. But we figured, at home maybe they don’t have to wear abaya inside the house if they don’t want to. If anyone can educate me on this, I would appreciate it.
Of course, we had to do the gondola ride. For old times’ sake, given that we did the real thing back in 2011 with our good friends from Contiki. Still impressed we managed to polish that bottle of wine in under an hour guys!
The Doha version is obviously not on the same par. It costs QR10, you don’t get a certified Venetian punting your boat while singing opera. And the boat is motorised, the paddle thing is used to steer the boat. But it’s good fun with kids, and I consider it worth the money while I rested my weary legs. And the water is actually clean enough to put your hand in haha…
Check out my other posts from the Middle East trip!
[Arabian Nights] A Sneak Peek!
[Abu Dhabi] Masdar City, the future is here!
[Abu Dhabi] Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
[Abu Dhabi] Frolicking around Emirates Palace
[Muscat, Oman] Chillaxing in Muttrah
[Muscat, Oman] Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
[Oman] Forts Around the Country
[Doha, Qatar] That Famous Corniche
[Doha, Qatar] Souq Waqif