Rapid shopping mall expansion in UAE

DUBAI — The UAE is expanding rapidly in the shopping mall sector by covering an area of 1.12 million square metres with 135.2 million visitors, according to a study published by the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres.

By Moushumi Das Chaudhury

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Published: Wed 20 Apr 2005, 10:57 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:08 PM

Industry estimates also reveals that the UAE with huge projects such as the Mall of Emirates, Dubailand, Mall of Arabia will govern the Gulf Shopping Mall Sector with investments of more than Dh25 billion by 2006.

Abu Dhabi is also building new malls including Khalidiyah Mall, which will cover an area of 52,000 square metre and will cost Dh200 million, Al Raha Beach Mall and Hotel covering 30,000 square metre and worth Dh165 million and New central market covering an area of 60,000 square metre.

The UAE is expected to boast a 145 per cent growth in GLA (gross leasable area) in the coming years.

The growth of shopping malls have been tremendous due to change in the psychology of retailers and consumers as well as new business opportunities and easy availability of capital through banks, apart form growing population and increased commercial activity in the UAE.

One of the largest shopping centre in central Dubai will be Emaar Properties Dubai Mall with a GLA of 351,000 square metres and will cost Dh2.6 billion with many unique features in retail development.

According to industry analysts, Mall of Arabia to be located in Dubailand will be the largest in Dubai and once completed may be the largest mall in the world.

Spinneys chain of supermarkets is also expanding in the Middle East and may invest $150 million in this region.

According to an official from Spinneys, the chain of supermarkets will cover the Middle East, North Africa and Indian subcontinent in the near future with its presence in Algeria, Syria, Iran, Jordan and Pakistan.

Study reveals that tourism will boost the business in shopping malls in the coming years and around 3.2 billion consumers with a collective GDP of $18.3 trillion will visit Dubai as the UAE is conveniently located from major markets such as Iran, India, Pakistan and other Middle east countries.

The largest mall actually under construction in Dubai is Majid Al Futtaim's 223,000 square metres, Dh 3 billion Mall of Emirates located at Interchange no 4 on Shaikh Zayed Road and combines an impressive line up of both stores and entertainment attraction. The mall is 94 per cent leased out already.

Sharjah is all set to open two more shopping malls as there is tremendous growth in the retail market and there is still room for new shopping malls. This year, two new shopping malls, Al Safeer Mall and Down Town Mall will open in Sharjah and these are being developed as part of the Sharjah Government's plan to present Sharjah as a attractive tourist destination.

Recently, Shaikh Tariq bin Faisal Al Qasimi, chairman of the Sharjah Economic Department, inaugurated the Sharjah's Mega Mall's new wing which will accommodate additional 20 shops.

Even Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman are also building new shopping malls as the UAE is considered a potential market for various business and retail spending is growing year-on- year in the emirates.

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