Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Weekend in Doha, Qatar - Villagio Mall

Doha, like Abu Dhabi and Dubai has its share of large shopping malls. This one, the Villagio, boasts an indoor canal, much like the Bellagio in Vegas, so we decided to check it out and have dinner there. After a much needed afternoon nap (I was fighting a terrible cold), we headed out. The mall was a lot farther out that we expected - about a 25 minute drive, but the traffic wasn't too bad as it was still early Friday afternoon.

Malls here, as I think I have explained, are designed for a lot more than just shopping. They all have some kind of kid's activity area, usually a cinema, plenty of restaurants and spas of some kind or another. The Villagio had an amusement park (see photos below), an ice rink where a hockey game was going on, the canal complete with gondola rides, a huge food court and a number of massage and nail places. Plenty to look at for the afternoon.

The amusement park was huge, with a full sized ferris wheel, a roller coaster that wound around the place, carnival games, a fun house ... and a Gloria Jean's coffee. :) The photo of the entrance looks like it's outside, but it isn't - this is all inside the mall building itself.

Some photos of the canal and gondola - yes, this is all inside. Pretty amazing what they've done with the interior of a shopping mall. We ate at a steak place in the mall, which was actually pretty good except, of course, we were missing our glass of red wine. Muslims don't drink any alcohol, so the only place to have a drink is in the hotels or in your own home. Definitely not in a public shopping mall. Instead, I had a fresh strawberry juice, which is a little like a smoothie.

And that sums up the trip to Doha. We really saw pretty much everything there is to see, so it's not a place we need to go back to. Brian will most likely have additional trips there for potential clients, but I probably won't be tagging along.

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