Southeastern entrance of the Villaggio Mall
|Opening date||7 June 2006, reopened on 20 may 2012 after fire|
|Owner||Abdul Aziz Mohammed Al-Rabban|
|No. of stores and services||220|
|Total retail floor area||100,000 m2|
|No. of floors||1|
Villaggio Mall is a shopping mall located in the Aspire Zone in the west end of Doha, the capital city of Qatar. It is located on Al Waab street between the Hyatt Plaza and Sports City and has over 200 stores, including many famous brands in the U.S., U.K., Italian and German markets.
The Mall was recently re-opened after meeting strict safety standards following the May fire that resulted in 19 lost lives. Portions of the mall remain closed as a result however, the food court, ice rink, movie theater, Carrefour hypermarket, and many stores are open for business with more opening as they are able to restock their shelves.
Gondolania Theme Park
The mall contains the Gondolania Theme Park, an indoor theme park which includes the Gondolania Ice Rink, one of two ice hockey rinks in Qatar, which is the home of the Qatar Ice Hockey League and the regional Desert Cup tournament. It is the only Olympic-size rink in Qatar. Also included are a ten pin bowling center and a rollercoaster.
May 28, 2012 fire
At around 11:00 AM May 28, 2012, a major fire broke out in the Villaggio Mall, triggering an alarm described by an eyewitness as being "a very benign fire alarm, almost like a door bell". At first many were not worried as there had been a recent false alarm.
As the fire engulfed the Gympanzee nursery, the entrances to the nursery became blocked by smoke, trapping 13 children and four staff inside. Firefighters from the Qatari Civil Defense force were forced to break a hole in the roof of the mall to attempt a rescue. Along with the 17 trapped in the nursery, two firefighters were killed. The victims included children from Spain, New Zealand, France, Japan, South Africa and The Philippines; along with three Filipino teachers and one teacher from South Africa.
There were also 17 injured persons as a result of smoke inhalation, most of them members of the Qatari Civil Defense force. A total of 19 people lost their lives - 13 being children; three of them triplets from New Zealand. The investigation committee revealed that an electrical fault at the Nike store as the cause of the deadly fire. It also found that all parties concerned had lacked adherence in varying degrees to related laws, systems and safety measures.
The father of the killed triplets later said proper post-mortems weren't carried out on his children, despite the presence of "highly flammable paint and illegal flammable mouldings" at the mall. He blamed a closed emergency exit at the mall's daycare centre for the children's deaths.
- The People of Villaggio
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