Dubai Mall plans major expansion


By Jeff Florian, Senior Reporter

Emaar Properties has announced plans to add over one million square feet to The Dubai Mall as part of an ambitious expansion of the world’s most-visited shopping destination.

The Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall

The expansion to the mall, which hosted more than 54 million visitors in 2011, will include new hotel rooms as well as entertainment and leisure facilities, Emaar said. The 12 million square feet development currently has over 1,200 stores and 160 F&B outlets.

“The Dubai Mall is a powerful demonstration of the competencies that Emaar has developed in retail, regarded as one of the core sectors of Dubai’s economy,” Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties said in a statement. “The addition of modern retail, leisure and hospitality choices as part of the one million sq ft expansion will take The Dubai Mall and Downtown Dubai into the next era in retailing and lifestyle development.”

Alabbar said the expansion is in line with the continuous evolution in customer expectations and aspirations. “Just as the expectations of customers are changing, the retailing sector is also witnessing rapid shifts. Through our expansion programme, we will use the most advanced technologies to offer an integrated mix of retail and entertainment that will meet the requirements of our visitors,” he noted.

The state-backed developer recently launched a project to build a 820-metre long pedestrian link that directly connects the Burj Khalifa/The Dubai Mall Metro Station with the mall, scheduled to be operational in 2013.

Emaar said visitors to its leisure attractions rose 13% last year to more 4.75m. Reel Cinemas, managed by Emaar Retail, welcomed more than 2.2 million patrons in 2011, while the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo attracted over 1.1 million residents and tourists.

Emaar is not the only developer in Dubai seeking to boost revenues from its retail assets. Government-backed rival Nakheel has announced plans to build a new $80m restaurant and shopping area at the tip of its Palm Jumeirah development in Dubai.

The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah project will include 120 restaurants, 75 shops and landscaped areas for visitors with a view of an offshore fountain.
Nakheel also recently announced plans to more than double the size of its existing Dragon Mart Mall and build two shopping centres in Dubai. More info