A day after announcing its intention to list its shopping malls and retail subsidiary through a secondary offering of shares, Dubai-based Emaar Properties has confirmed to Emirates 24|7 that it is “evaluating plans to further strengthen the retail and leisure offerings” in Dubai’s popular Springs community.
While residents of The Springs/Meadows community within Emirates Living by Emaar already enjoy access to three small retail centres, the master developer is mulling upgrading the existing Springs Village shopping centre opposite the Springs 7 to become a fully-fledged shopping mall.
“We are committed to enhance the lifestyle experience of our residents and are evaluating plans to further strengthen the retail and leisure offerings of the community,” an Emaar spokesperson told this website.
Currently, the small shopping centre houses the grocery store Choithram, a clinic and pharmacy, besides some food joints, a bookstore and a laundry.
Residents of the community have access to two other shopping centres – the Springs Village opposite the Springs 14 and a Meadows Village – which cater to their daily shopping needs.
A section of residents that this website spoke with were concerned about a children’s nursery that also operates in the centre, but Emaar has clarified that its plans will not entail relocation of the nursery.
“The children’s nursery operations will not be affected,” the spokesperson assured this website.
Expansion and development
Of late, the area has seen a lot of expansion and development work.
For example, The Springs Drive, a two-lane road that used to connect the sub-communities, has now been extended with several lanes on either side.
Some residents, however, are not happy with that development. “I preferred the two-lane road. You can see how busy the road has become with some driving very recklessly.
“There are drivers who speed at 120km/hr, which is apt for a highway, but not a road that cuts through the community and there are no speed cameras. I was happy when it was more laid back,” said a resident of Springs 11 without wishing to be named.
The Emirates Living community is currently composed of four distinct developments, namely The Lakes, The Meadows, The Springs and Emirates Hills.
These, while individually unique, share a common landscaping approach that features serene waterways and abundant greenery.
The upcoming Hills is the fifth addition to the Emirates Living development.
It has been a popular choice among residents who want a laid back lifestyle and have children.
On Saturday, Emaar said it plans to list up to 25 per cent of the Emaar Malls Group equity through a secondary offering of shares.
The funds raised through the sale of 25 per cent of the company, estimated to be between Dh8 to Dh9 billion (over $2 to $2.4 billion), will be primarily distributed as dividend to the company’s shareholders.
Emaar Malls & Retail is one of the high-growth business entities of Emaar, having recorded full-year 2013 revenue of Dh2.837 billion ($772 million), an increase of over 20 per cent compared to the revenue in 2012.
The gross operating profit for the Malls and Retail business increased to Dh2.232 billion ($608 million) compared to Dh1.856 billion ($506 million) in 2012.
Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said: “The proposed listing of Emaar Malls & Retail and the distribution of funds raised through the sale of shares as dividend underlines our commitment and gratitude to our shareholders, including the Government of Dubai, for their unwavering support to the company since its inception in 1997.
“Over the years, they have placed their utmost trust in our development strategy of business segmentation and expansion, as we invested our revenues back into the business to ensure long-term value creation.
“Today, Emaar’s shopping malls and retail subsidiary is our high-performing business, which derives its growth impetus from the sustained growth of Dubai and its reputation as an international business and leisure hub.
“Dubai today is the first choice of destination for more than 2.5 billion people who are less than five hours of flying distance.
“Our malls business will benefit from the higher growth rate in spending, increased disposal income and economic activity of these emerging markets.”