Four Day Pass: Day 2

Landmark Mall Qatar - McDonaldsToday I went to the Landmark Shopping Mall in Doha, Qatar. Yes, I like shopping. So, take away my man-card. I also like watching society happen. We started at McDonalds for dinner. No, it wasn’t the most interesting restaurant in the mall. I’ve never been much for culinary adventure. After eating FOB Hunter chow hall food for so many months, McDonalds is great.
Landmark Shopping Mall looks very much the malls back in the states. Villagio Mall was clearly much more upscale, rather over the top in fact. Landmark was busier that Villagio was, more maybe the same number of people in a smaller space. I’m not sure.
There were a lot of young people in Landmark. Early teens to middle twenty somethings appeared to be the largest demographic at Landmark. The crowd at Villagio was older. Most of the Qatari kids were wearing traditional garb. There were a number of women wearing head coverings with western clothes. Some left the black covering open so that their pants were visible. The majority of the boys were wearing the traditional white tunic.

Landmark Mall Qatar - Apple iStore
I think Apple needs to make a stronger effort to localize to the Arab market. Apple products are clearly very popular here. I saw at least two iPhones in use despite the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, there are no cell phone providers here that support iPhone. Obviously, they are using JailBroke iPhones.
In Villagio, both Virgin Superstore and Carrefour carried Apple products. In the Landmark Mall there was an iStore kiosk selling Apple products, clearly attempting to emulate the Apple Store look. The Landmark also had Carrefour and Virgin stores carrying Apple products. Virgin had the most complete selection of Apple products. There is definitely a premium charged. The MacBook power supply I bought at Virgin Superstore in Villagio was $122. Apple Store in the States sells it for $79.
My wife is a Hello Kitty fan. Apparently, so are many Qatari women. There was a Hello Kitty kiosk in both malls that I’ve visited. More interesting was a store called Oysho. It appears to be a lingerie shop but all the underwear has some sort of cartoon theme. I saw Hello Kitty thong underwear. I was very tempted to buy a pair for my wife but I decided that joke might come back to haunt me. They also had various garments with Daffy duck and some other characters. There was just something odd about Victoria Secret type garments with cartoon and anime characters. Strange.
Landmark Mall Qatar - StarbucksThe Landmark Mall was less interesting than Villagio. We were pretty much done seeing the whole place in about 90 minutes. We had another two hours or so until it would be time to head back. We went to the Starbucks got coffees and sat outside watching Qatar go by. It was interesting. I like watching people anyway but I especial like to watch people in a culture other than my own. Two hours is a long time. I went and found a Cinnabonn Shop. A small Cinnabonn – which is still about twice the size of the ones mom used to make – and another coffee.
It was fun just to get out into society and see how they do life. Tomorrow I’m going on the Souqs tour. Yet another shopping trip, this time to the traditional market place. I’ll be there for dinner. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Leave a Reply