Youth power driv­ing Duhail Night Mar­ket

Gulf Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Pe­ter Ala­gos Busi­ness Re­porter

The highly-suc­cess­ful Night Mar­ket launched ini­tially in Ra­madan this year at the Al Duhail Sports Club park­ing lot is back and at­tract­ing thou­sands of vis­i­tors since its re­open­ing last month. For this edi­tion, the mar­ket is show­cas­ing 130 mi­cro-busi­nesses in the fields of food and bev­er­age (F&B), re­tail, hand­i­crafts, and en­ter­tain­ment, among oth­ers.

The Night Mar­ket is an ini­tia­tive by Sheikh Suhaim bin Khalid bin Ha­mad al-Thani aimed at sup­port­ing Qatari youth, and or­gan­ised by Cloud e for events by Qatari busi­ness­woman and so­cial me­dia in­flu­encer Na­jlaa al-Shafiee.

“The mar­ket is fea­tur­ing many re­tail out­lets for cloth­ing, ac­ces­sories, per­fumes, home ac­ces­sories, while for the F&B sec­tion, we have new con­cepts of cof­fee shops, restau­rants, and sweets. Vis­i­tors will be treated to more busi­nesses, big­ger space, at­trac­tive dec­o­ra­tions, and a va­ri­ety of weekly en­ter­tain­ment,” al-Shafiee told Gulf Times. She said the first edi­tion of the Night Mar­ket was launched in May dur­ing this year’s Ra­madan sea­son. The se­cond edi­tion started in Novem­ber and has been at­tract­ing scores of vis­i­tors since the open­ing day.

“Ma­jor­ity of our vis­i­tors are the younger gen­er­a­tion, hence the mar­ket is filled with ‘the spirit of youth’,” al-Shafiee pointed out, adding that the mar­ket opens at 4pm and runs un­til 1am.

She also stressed that there was an in­crease in the num­ber of young en­trepreneurs par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Night Mar­ket. The ages of the par­tic­i­pat­ing busi­ness own­ers range be­tween 20 and 30 years old, al-Shafiee said.

For fam­i­lies and chil­dren vis­it­ing the mar­ket, al-Shafiee said there is a des­ig­nated fam­ily day on Tues­days and Fri­days. “For the time be­ing, we only have skill games but we are plan­ning to have a space for chil­dren,” she ex­plained.

Speak­ing to Gulf Times dur­ing the mar­ket’s first edi­tion, Cloud e mar­ket­ing man­ager Nasser alAmri said “peo­ple are look­ing for new and unique ex­pe­ri­ences, es­pe­cially af­ter the eco­nomic block­ade was im­posed on Qatar in June 2017.”

“We have con­cep­tu­alised this ini­tia­tive to of­fer some­thing dif­fer­ent to the pub­lic,” he noted. Al-Amri said the lo­ca­tion of the Night Mar­ket is ideal and is near a res­i­den­tial com­mu­nity of “a lot of prom­i­nent Qataris.”

He also noted that the Night Mar­ket also aims to bring in more com­mer­cial traf­fic to the Duhail area.

PIC­TURES: Ram Chand

As many as 130 mi­cro-busi­nesses are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the mar­ket’s se­cond edi­tion.

The mar­ket of­fers vis­i­tors a wide mix of busi­ness out­lets.

Jew­ellery items are among the pop­u­lar haunts at the mar­ket.

The mar­ket’s food court is the per­fect venue to un­wind.

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