Ibn Battuta Mall just got bigger

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Ibn Battuta Mall just got bigger
Dancers welcome senior Nakheel executives and other guests to the opening of Ibn Battuta Mall's new extension in Dubai on Wednesday.

Dubai - Nakheel adds 60 new shops and restaurants in 300,000 sq ft extension

by

Deepthi Nair

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Published: Wed 18 May 2016, 3:41 PM

Last updated: Wed 18 May 2016, 5:47 PM

Nakheel estimates that this year will be its busiest in terms of retail openings. As the first step, the developer opened the initial phase of expansion at Ibn Battuta Mall spanning 300,000 sq ft on Wednesday.

The extension adds 60 new shops, restaurants, cafes and services to the mall and brings the total number of outlets to almost 400. Among the new stores are Decathlon, United Furniture, Marks & Spencer, Under Armour, Iconic, Jashanmal and Paul, as well as expansions to Homes R Us and
Paris Gallery.

A two-storey link connecting the mall to Ibn Battuta Metro station will open in two weeks. This will feature 90 outlets, including a 24-hour food court, mostly catering to Metro commuters. The food court will feature 18 outlets (including KFC and McDonald's) and casual dining outlets such as Habit Burger and Japanese eatery Atisuto, among others. Around 95 per cent of space has been leased out in the Metro link.

Nakheel has invested Dh100 million in the first phase of Ibn Battuta expansion. Ibn Battuta's first hotel - a 372-room three-star Premier Inn - is scheduled to open in October this year.

Phase three of expansion includes a second multi-screen cinema complex and multi-storey car park, scheduled to open by Q3 2017. Phase four includes the glass-covered courtyard and the Avani hotel. The entire scheme with all the new phases will be ready by 2020.

"We have introduced several new brands at Ibn Battuta, which mostly attracts middle-class traffic. We have adjusted the retail mix to serve this demographic accordingly," said Omar Khoory, director of Nakheel Retail.

Nakheel aims to achieve Dh7 billion from its leasing, retail and hospitality portfolio by 2020, said chairman Ali Rashid Lootah. The developer achieved recurring revenues worth Dh1.5 billion in 2015.

Dismissing talks of a slowdown in retail sales, Nakheel chairman was upbeat in his industry outlook. "We are not seeing a slowdown in leasing activity at our malls. Retailers are coming forward to take up our space and willing to pay our forecasted rents. We haven't reduced rents. We have more traffic in Ibn Battuta compared to last year. Our job is to bring in more footfall," Lootah said.

The developer has several plans which will keep its retail wing busy through the rest of the year. These include a community centre in International City which will open before Ramadan, a shopping strip with 10 outlets (F&B, cafes and supermarket) at Jumeirah Islands, the Club Vista Mare F&B beach development on the Palm Jumeirah which will open after Ramadan, community centres at Azure Residences, Al Furjan and Al Badrah in Jebel Ali.

Meanwhile, The Pointe, Nakheel's F&B destination on the Palm Jumeirah, is 75 per cent leased and targeted to open before the year end. It will be Nakheel's biggest opening this year.

Construction is progressing well at the Nakheel Mall on the Palm Jumeirah. Anchor tenants have been announced and it is scheduled to open in Q1 of 2018. Around 60 per cent of space has been leased out.

The Deira Islands Mall, currently in the tendering stage, will be the biggest mall in Dubai when complete, claimed Lootah. "It will be bigger than The Dubai Mall and is targeted to open by the end of 2019," informed Lootah.

The Nakheel chairman said footfall has increased steadily at Dragon Mart 2. "We already attracted about 600,000 visitors last month."
Not ruling out plans for an initial public offering for its retail subsidiary, Lootah added: "For now, we just want to build our retail portfolio."

- deepthi@khaleejtimes.com

Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah and other senior executives attend the opening of Ibn Battuta Mall's new extension in Dubai on Wednesday.
Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah and other senior executives attend the opening of Ibn Battuta Mall's new extension in Dubai on Wednesday.
Dancers welcome senior Nakheel executives and other guests to the opening of Ibn Battuta Mall's new extension in Dubai on Wednesday.
Dancers welcome senior Nakheel executives and other guests to the opening of Ibn Battuta Mall's new extension in Dubai on Wednesday.
Dancers welcome senior Nakheel executives and other guests to the opening of Ibn Battuta Mall's new extension in Dubai on Wednesday.
Dancers welcome senior Nakheel executives and other guests to the opening of Ibn Battuta Mall's new extension in Dubai on Wednesday.


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