Saturday, April 16, 2022

A New Mall - the Vendome

 [Coronavirus cases are hovering around 100 a day, some days less than a 100, others more. Hospitalizations are under 30 and only one person is in the ICU]

So a new mall just had its soft opening yesterday, the new Vendome Mall in Lusail. You can look it up on Google Maps -- it is HUGE.

As it was a soft opening maybe 20-25% of the shops were open but almost all of the areas of the mall were open and tons of people were roaming around to check out the mall. One thing of note is the massive fountain area in the middle of the mall.

And with the mall being three stories in some areas they went with high ceilings and lots of glass.

The supermarket is a Monoprix.

I didn't take pictures of all the other stores because it is a soft opening, and most of the stores that are open are ones you can find in other malls. It will be a while later before the unique shops open. I will note that there were a lot of luxury stores (Jimmy Choo, Dior, Burberry, etc etc,) so there is yet another mall to compete with the luxury shops in other places. Not sure how that will pan out, I suspect some luxury stores in other parts of the city will close up.

While the pictures look nice there was a lack of seating everywhere. Huge wide hallways but no seats. I can only assume that will be coming later because you need to have places for people to sit down. It was weird wandering around and not having anywhere to sit down.

The mall looks beautiful and will be a welcome addition to the new Lusail neighbourhood. Glad it will be finished in time for the World Cup.

Saturday, April 02, 2022

Ramadan Kareem!

It's Ramadan, the announcement was made last night.  Time for a month of fasting from first light (~4am) until sunset at around 6pm. 

Spent the last week decaffinating, slowing weaning myself off of coffee, otherwise I would get a massive headache the first day.  It was also weird putting food and water on my nightstand so that I could eat something quickly at 3:30am before going back to sleep.

It will be nice to enjoy Ramadan festivities again, due to Covid I was home for the last two Ramadans, either because of lockdown or because I was keeping myself safe by limiting how much I went out. But things have settled down here, cases are around 100-ish a day, and so it'll be nice to get out an enjoy the month. Already planning to stop by a friend's majlis at 9pm, that's when the Ramadan prayers (Tarawih) end and things start happening in the country. From around 9pm until 2am or so everyone is out and about, visiting friends, shopping, doing errands, whatever.

Here's hoping we all have a happy, mellow Ramadan.