Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dubai Mall comes into being

The Gulf Today, 5 Nov 2008
Adding yet another chapter in the book of Dubai’s world records, a synthesis of world’s first-of-its-kind shopping and leisure extravaganza has been unveiled on Tuesday.
A shopping destination has been created, which is among the elite malls of the world. Dubai Mall has been opened for public on Nov.4, showcasing about 600 retailers, making it a shopping and leisure destination with the world’s largest number of retailers in the history of malls.
The mall boasts with an array of charms and leisure offerings like the Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre, which has already been in the global spotlight having clinched the Guinness World Record for the “World’s Largest Acrylic Panel”.
The Dubai Mall is positioned as the premier lifestyle destination that revolutionises shopping experiences globally. About 30 per cent of total area of the Mall has been dedicated to new brands to Dubai and flagship stores in one of the world’s largest lifestyle, entertainment and shopping destinations, said Jim Badour, CEO Emaar Malls Group.
He added, “A sprawling Gold Souk, the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink and the multimedia-rich Fashion Catwalk atrium are also the distinctive lifestyle attractions of Dubai Mall, which stages the Middle East debut of global retail brands such as Waitrose and Hamleys.”
The mall is centrally located in the Downtown Burj Dubai development, and visitors and shoppers can reach the location via multiple access roads from Sheikh Zayed Road.
“The Dubai Mall will address the world-class shopping needs of a population of over 2 billion people in the catchment markets of the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe,” said Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman Emaar Properties.
He added, “Creating robust business opportunities for retail enterprises from around the world, Dubai Mall embodies as an affirmation of the strong economic fundamentals of the Dubai economy. The Dubai Strategic Plan envisages an annual GDP growth of 11 per cent and correspondingly a rise in per capita income.”
“The Plan also aims to reach an annual target of attracting 15 million tourists by 2015. This in turn translates to greater purchasing power and a demand for world-class retailing. The Dubai Mall is a response to that demand and will be the choice retail and leisure destination regionally and a magnet for tourists across the globe,” Jabber pointed out.
When fully operational, the Dubai Mall will have over 1,200 stores of which nearly 165 retailers, equaling 1.1 million sq ft, or 30 per cent of the total gross leasable area of the mall. These aspects are new to the region and the standalone or flagship stores are opened for the very first time in Dubai, revealed the spokesperson.
The retail mix includes two anchor department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Bloomingdale’s, both opening their first store in the Middle East. Also operational are 220 gold and jewellery outlets, 160 food and beverage outlets including Dubai’s largest food court with 40 outlets; a supermarket and an organic food mart.
Yousif Al Ali, Dubai Mall GM told, “We are readily positioned to cater for the key retail, tourist and festive periods marked by the UAE National Day, Eid Al Adha, New Year and the Dubai Shopping Festival.”
He added, “Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre features with over 33,000 aquatic animals including sharks and rays, while the discovery centre is an educational window to marine life’s myriad attractions. The Gold Souk with 220 retailers is designed to reflect traditional Arab architectural ethos, and is a celebration of Dubai’s regional hub status in gold and jewellery trade.”

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