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QATAR. French luxury brand Louis Vuitton opened its first store today at Hamad International Airport, in partnership with Qatar Duty Free.

The seductive and stylish store is located next to the famous Lamp Bear lamp at South Node Plaza and features a towering replica of the Maison’s famous mascot, Vivienne.

Designed in 2018, Louis Vuitton’s playful mascot, Vivienne, has made numerous appearances for the House, always embodying her liveliness and expertise. But has it ever had such an impact? {All Photos © The Moodie Davitt Report}

Is Lamp Bear hard to get? He may be turning his back on Vivienne now, but for how long? The covering in the foreground is intended for the Hermès boutique which will open later this year.

(Above and below) The big moment comes when the VIPs cut the ribbon to inaugurate the Louis Vuitton boutique. (L to R) Thabet Musleh, Vice President of Qatar Duty Free; Louis Vuitton Retail Director Middle East Elsa Kobeissi; Marc Sjostedt, general manager of Louis Vuitton for the Middle East; Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker; and the Chief Operating Officer of Hamad International Airport, Eng. Badr Mohammad Al-Mir

Moodie Davitt Report Chairman Martin Moodie and Brand Editor and Head of Digital Marketing Hannah Tan-Gillies are on hand in Doha to bring exclusive coverage of the opening as part of our special series on Qatar Duty Free and Hamad International leading to the inauguration of the airport expansion later this year. This opening will precede the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which kicks off on November 20.

Just before the store visit, a quick photo op for (left to right) Thabet Musleh, Akbar Al Baker, Marc Sjostedt and Engr. Badr Mohammad Al-Mir

“What we delivered today was a team effort between the Qatar Duty Free team, the Hamad International Airport team and Louis Vuitton,” said Qatar Duty Free Vice President Thabet. Musleh, to the Moodie Davitt report. “It’s something spectacular and it’s something I’ve never seen before. We’ve been working on this for a very long time and seeing it come to fruition is quite exciting.

“I would like our customers to come in and judge. But I think it’s spectacular. It portrays the brand very well and it portrays Qatar Duty Free very well. It has a very warm feel. The luxury feel is great.

This aerial view captures the majestic look of the new store {Photo: ©Hannah Tan-Gillies, The Moodie Davitt Report}

The boutique offers a full range of leather goods, ready-to-wear, textiles, watches, jewelry, accessories, perfumes and shoes, for men and women. Louis Vuitton said the store highlights the Maison’s continued focus on travel.

The Moodie View: In a year rich in openings, renovations and new concepts, today’s inauguration of the Louis Vuitton boutique must certainly be the the best of the best for Qatar Duty Free, writes Martin Moodie.

The major French brand has steadily increased its commercial footprint at airports in recent years, both in international and domestic terminals, all of which are refined stores. But this edition, markedly different in character from its counterparts around the world, almost futuristic in style while adhering to the elegance and sense of Maison heritage, may well rank as the most exciting yet.

Nothing here is too complicated. The brand’s implicit sophistication, along with a pleasing sense of playful and lavish design, fittings and merchandising are all perfectly aligned. The well-varied product offering has plenty of room to shine and does just that.

The job is never done in retail, as Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker was quick to point out to me during a whirlwind tour of the extraordinary expansion project just after the opening of Louis Vuitton.

Its full reveal (and ours) will have to wait until the grand opening but today’s preview (our second) was enough to confirm that this will be a terminal like no other on planet Earth . And the commercial offer? Superlatives must also wait for the opening, but there won’t be a travel writer on earth who doesn’t reach them.

Double act: Moodie Davitt Report Chairman Martin Moodie (pictured left with Thabet Musleh) and Brand Editor and Head of Digital Marketing Hannah Tan-Gillies are in Doha to report on not only the opening today, but also a host of other Qatar Duty Free innovations. Don’t miss our full report coming soon.


Influencers and bloggers (including Hannah Tan-Gillies of The Moodie Davitt Report, third from left) were out in force at today’s opening

Hold this shot: Hannah Tan-Gillies (above and below), Moodie Davitt Brands editor and head of digital marketing, works her social media magic

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