Dubai Mall claims world visitors record


By Kevin Brass

Emaar Properties claims Dubai Mall is now the world’s most-visited shopping and leisure destination, after the centre attracted 54 million visitors last year.

Dubai Mall features more than 1,200 shops. Paulo Vecina / The National
Dubai Mall features more than 1,200 shops. Paulo Vecina / The National

The traffic was a 15 per cent increase on 2010 and pushed the mall past the 50.2 million visitors to New York City, according to Emaar. The developer also compared the visitor numbers to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Times Square, Central Park and Niagara Falls, but did not offer independent verification in a release issued yesterday.

“From a tourist perspective and a global perspective, it is very successful,” said David Macadam, the regional director of retail for Jones Lang LaSalle. “But it would be very hard to justify [the numbers] or contradict them.”

Dubai Mall features more than 1,200 shops, in addition to a skating rink, a massive aquarium and an indoor theme park, in addition to its direct link to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

Last month, Emaar used the mall as collateral to secure Dh3.6 billion (US$980 million) of financing from a trio of UAE banks.

Retailers in the mall are reporting a 35 per cent increase in sales compared with 2010, Emaar said.

But Dubai Mall is not considered the emirate’s highest earning mall. Mall of the Emirates generates more revenue, analysts say.

“If you look at sales trading and sales density, the Mall of the Emirates has been the number one trading mall in the world,” Mr Macadam said. “I know some retailers have enjoyed great growth, but 35 per cent increase on already humongous numbers is a lot.” More info