Sunday, June 24, 2012
City Centre Update and Summer Is Here
Summer is fully upon us and the temperatures are reaching well into the 40s. I can handle that as the evenings are hot, but manageable IF there is no humidity. On those evenings where the humidity kicks in it’s unbearable, sweat is pouring off you within five minutes of walking around.
Now I like to walk around, which gets impractical in the summer. My main way of beating the summer heat and getting some exercise was to go to a big mall and walk around there. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of options now.
Villaggio is still closed (of course) and it likely will not reopen for months, with some rumours saying that it might be shut down for good. We’ll have to wait and see for an official announcement but I certainly think it won't open for the rest of summer at least.
Despite the original optimism that it would only be closed for a few days City Centre Mall remains closed -- two weeks later. There's lots of speculation about when it will reopen, ranging from tomorrow to weeks. Have to wait and see on that one.
That leaves Landmark as the only large mall left and it is insanely busy. It always was busy but with the closure of the other two malls it's now the main shopping centre for 1.5 million people. If you're dripping with sweat after a five-minute walk, well, you'll probably be walking longer than that just to get from your parking space to that mall.
There's not much else that can be done. In the Middle East the summers are incredibly hot so you tend to stay indoors. Malls provide a large air-conditioned area with which you can wander around, meet friends, have a coffee or a meal, and generally have a pleasant time. There's little else in Doha that can provide that so that means coming up with alternative things to do. I'm thinking of going to the gym more, meeting friends at coffee shops or at various homes (I had some friends over at my place this weekend), and I might have to splurge on a getaway weekend somewhere just to change things up a little. I'm thinking Oman but we’ll see.