While the traditional urban spatial geography of khaleeji residential patterns has been in flux for much of the past century, the vast infrastructural modernization plans and urban development schemes characteristic of the last decade in Doha have significantly reconfigured the social geography of urban life in the city. Overall, this research made use of a diverse set of qualitative, ethnographic methods as a pathway to exploring the impact of Villaggio Mall upon Qatar and its diverse peoples. The project connects with ongoing research, set in a variety of other non-western societies that continue to evaluate the impact of consumer culture in new settings. This project represents the first attempt to ethnographically gauge these impacts in the context of the contemporary khaleej societies.

This research used qualitative research methods including numerous interviews with families residing in the neighborhoods proximate to Villaggio Mall. The researcher also conducted a survey to explore the population's attitudes towards the phenomenon of malls, 100 people responded to the survey questions.

The research team frequently visited the Villaggio Mall to take photographs of the layout and stores of the shopping mall, and of people in the mall. For the latter photographs, permission was taken from all subjects clearly identifiable in the photographs. The research team used this collection of photographs to discern a set of key themes that resonate with existing social and cultural research concerning shopping malls in other parts of the world.

This study showed changes in the patterns of behavior and the daily activities of the population, especially those who live near these malls (eating habits, times of sleep, and relationships both within the household and within the neighborhood). With the presence of this supermall, home visits between families become less frequent. The findings of this study reveal the depth of the social and cultural changes experienced by traditional society of the city of Doha as a result of globalization. This study seeks to take a first step toward enhancing our scientific knowledge in the fields of globalization and consumer culture.


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