By Rory Jones www.thenational.ae
The expansion, which comes on the back of plans to build a pedestrian footbridge from the mall to the metro station, is set to add new hotel rooms, restaurants and shops.
“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,” said Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, the mall developer, in a statement.
The retail sector in the UAE is flourishing, with retailers reporting strong sales on the back of strong tourists numbers to the Emirates in the past 12 months.
More than 54 million shoppers and tourists visited Dubai Mall in 2011, 15 per cent up on the year before. Dubai Mall currently has over 1,200 stores and 160 food and beverage outlets with an internal floor area of 5.9m sqf and a total area of 12m sqf, making it the biggest shopping and leisure destination in the world.
“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,” said Mr Alabbar.