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.


ryesays said...

no love for Hyatt?

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel. My favorite mall has closed, and LM is unbearable now, and CC is not an option for the time being. I thought I'd try to discover other malls that might not get as much love. Hyatt Plaza is a good one, and Royal Plaza is not bad either. The Centre, which is the first mall to ever open in Qatar, is small but not bad at all. Lugoona mall is new and quiet most of the time. Why not try some of those?

Glen McKay said...

My discussions always referred to the malls I considered the "large malls". I know there are a number of smaller malls: Hyatt Plaza, Centrepoint, Royal Plaza, The Mall, The Centre, Lagoona, but they're not really big enough for a nice walk-around. I found Villaggio was the best for walking.

Out of the "medium" malls Hyatt Plaza and The Mall are probably the best for walking around but I'm not that thrilled with either, at least not enough to make the journey. I always found Royal Plaza too quiet. It's so dead there the food court only has three restaurants.