Villaggio begins mall extension

Expansion work has stated at Doha’s Villaggio Mall, the site where 19 people were killed in a fire last year, according to reports.

Hoardings and posters have detailed the plans this month, with cars directed away from the building, according to Doha News.

An employee of the mall told the paper that the building’s VIP parking area is being expanded to try to compensate for the loss of space.

The source also said that the new development is likely to house restaurants and cafes, with the Cheesecake factory believed to be one eatery which is close to agreeing a deal.

Permission to extend the mall is understood to have been granted before the fire which took place on May 28 last year.

At a hearing at Doha Court in June, two officials from the mall were sentenced to six years in jail for involuntary manslaughter, after it was found that a more serious approach to fire safety could have prevented the 19 deaths.