New districts being developed at Dubai World Central (DWC) in Jebel Ali will feature more than 10 million square feet of retail space, climate-controlled shopping areas and add at least 40 per cent to the existing number of retail outlets in Dubai, according to an official.
DWC’s retail districts within its 140-square-kilometre city-within-a-city complex are to be built in partnership with BurJuman mall in Dubai. The mall operator will design, build, lease and operate the shopping arenas, entertainment and leisure centres within its project.
Eisa Adam Ibrahim, the general manager of BurJuman, said the partnership will set new standards in the retail circle by adding more than 1,600 more outlets, 50 per cent of them featuring new brands and services not seen before in the region. “What we will put together will take the shopping experience to another height. It will set new standards,” he said.
The retails districts will be housed within the DWC’s already-announced Residential City, Commercial City and Golf City and will be launched early next year. The first phase of construction for Residential City is set to begin as early as this month.
“Given the tremendous amount of retail developments currently under way throughout the GCC, the region’s gross leasable area is expected to reach just over 16 million square metres by 2010 – by which time DWC will contribute a significant percentage,” said Ibrahim, who is working with a team of 20 specialists on preparing their first proposal to officials from the DWC.
“Everything is subject to approval, but we are hoping to get at least two concepts ready for their review.” Khalid bin Harib, the CEO of real estate at DWC said of the nearly 40 square kilometres will be developed, at least 20 per cent will translate into retail units.
“This will add at least 40 per cent to the existing number of retail outlets in Dubai’s shopping malls, which today stand at 3,500,” he said.“The GCC retail market, which is worth upwards of $50 billion (Dh184bn) today is constantly evolving and through the formation of DWC’s retail districts, catering to an eventual population of nearly a million people, we will revolutionise the way the retail market operates. Malls in Dubai currently see over 140 million footfalls annually.”
Currently being built, DWC is an aviation community centred around the Al Maktoum International Airport, which, when finally completed, will be the world’s largest airport. Promoters say the entire project is almost twice the size of Hong Kong Island.
“Money is not an issue... That is the last thing to look at,” he said. “All we want to do is to raise the bar because we believe that the more we spend, the more we get. We are in the business of making money, not saving.”
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