Emaar to expand Dubai Mall, launch new projects in Downtown

Emaar Properties, Dubai’s largest developer, said on Thursday it will soon commence expansion of the Dubai Mall by building a new high-street boulevard style retail destination, as well launch new luxury homes and serviced residences in Downtown Dubai district.

“With the master-plan of the new expansion now finalised, work will begin shortly with the various components to be completed in phases,” Emaar said in a statement.

The Dubai Mall expansion announcement comes after Dubai revealed plans to build Mohammed bin Rashid City project, comprising the largest mall in the world with over 100 hotel facilities, and a Dh10-billion complex of five theme parks in Jebel Ali.

Emaar will offer high-end shopping choices for visitors in the Dubai Mall through “personalised” flagship stores of the world’s renowned fashion brands along with other leading lifestyle and entertainment brands.

Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) said recently that Dubai remains the premier luxury city in the Middle East and one of the world's most expensive retail areas in 2012.

The global real estate services company, in its survey of 326 prime locations across 62 countries, placed Dubai on the 40th position in 2012 list with annual retail rents at $153 per square feet per year. In 2011, Dubai was not featured on the list.

“The retail market saw good occupier demand for luxury shopping centres over the year, with fashion brands particularly active. Good quality retail space remains however limited and the scarcity of new supply has generally kept prime rents stable – albeit the pipeline for next year is considerable,” C&W said.

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), in its third quarter 2012 report, said demand for premium retail space in the large malls, especially Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates, remains very strong and has driven both malls to expand their areas. Secondary and old malls, however, are struggling to attract demand and have seen their rents decreasing.

The global consultancy put prime retail rents at Dh436 per square feet, while secondary retail rents stood at Dh175 per square feet.

Sales launch of luxury homes and serviced residences in the new development will be announced soon.

Emaar, this year, has launched two projects and its The Address The BVLD serviced apartment project in Downtown Dubai was sold out in hours of its launch. Last week, Emaar launched 253 Casa villas in Arabian Ranches.

Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, Emaar Properties, said: “The Dubai Mall has established its central identity in the global retail sector by serving as the ultimate choice of shopping and leisure for nearly 2.5 billion people who are only a four-hour flying time from Dubai. We are now redefining the mall’s luxury lifestyle experience with the new expansion that will create a dynamic lifestyle hub in the heart of Downtown Dubai.”

He added: “With the mall expansion to feature a modern hotel, luxury homes and serviced residences, designed to the world-class standards associated with Emaar, we are further contributing to strengthening Dubai’s powerful growth drivers – the tourism, retail, hospitality and business environments.”

Alan Robertson, Chief Executive Officer, Jones Lang LaSalle MENA, said: “We are definitely seeing a return in confidence to the Dubai real estate market. This is still Dubai and it’s as ambitious as ever but we are also seeing a more mature and considered approach which is only going to benefit the long term health and credibility of the real estate sector amongst domestic and international investors and stakeholders. The key to the success of individual projects and the future performance of the overall market will be the adoption of a realistic phasing strategy in line with market demand.”

Parvees Gafur, Chief Executive Officer, PropSquare Real Estate, said: “Downtown has been promoted very well. It is one of the best communities in the emirate and there is demand for projects there.”

More than 44.5 million people have visited Dubai Mall, located in the 500-acre mega Downtown development, from January to September 2012, an increase of 15 per cent compared to the same period last year. Over 54 million people visited the mall last year.

The mall has 1,200 retail stores and 160 food and beverage outlets, besides several leisure attractions such as Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo; SEGA Republic, the largest of its kind indoor theme park and Dubai Ice Rink, an Olympic sized ice rink.


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