By Manoj Nair, Associate Editor www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: The city is extending itself to the Dubai Outlet Mall, literally. If there were just a few scattered villas within its immediate neighbourhood when the mall opened in 2007, it’s looking a lot more crowded these days.
The Dubai Silicon Oasis has emerged as a bustling commercial and residential hub, while The Villa has come on nicely as a community. Then there are the apartment blocks forming the Skycourts cluster.
In effect, all of this is building up the catchment area that Dubai Outlet Mall can cater to. Currently, the catchment areas contribute about 10 to 15 per cent of visitor traffic to the mall. Is it then time for the promoters to consider going in for an expansion?
“We are over 92 per cent leased against the 83 per cent we had at the same time last year,” said Vishal Mahajan, director. “We have always maintained that the concept of an outlet mall is a necessity for a mature retailer rather than the opening of another store.
“This way they get to support their mainstream shops through the cycle of merchandise as well giving customers the benefit of discounts.”
Some time this year, the promoters will decide when and how an expansion should take shape. In its original masterplan, the mall would be the core of a much wider development that would include a hotel, officers and residential components.
The land is under the ownership of the Al Ahli Holding Group, who also developed the mall.
“Looking at future retailer demand, we could consider adding to the existing mall in parts rather than go in for a full-scale development,” said Mahajan. “It doesn’t make sense to build a mall of 2 to 3 million square feet for very little demand. More info