One of world’s largest malls set for October opening in Dubai

July 31st, 2008 - 10:53 am ICT by IANS  

By Aroonim Bhuyan
Dubai, July 31 (IANS) Come Oct 30 and tourists across the world will have another reason to visit this desert oasis city as one of the world’s largest malls will open its doors to the public. Emaar Malls Group, a subsidiary of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based real estate major Emaar Properties, has finalized the date for the inauguration of The Dubai Mall, it was announced here.

Being seen as one of the largest mall openings in the region, Emaar Malls’ flagship project will cover 12 million sq ft of space. With a total internal floor area of 5.9 million sq ft, it will have 3.77 million sq ft of gross leasable space.

The new facility will house 1,200 retail outlets, two anchor department stores and over 120 food and beverage outlets, apart from the world’s largest indoor gold souk.

“By opening on October 30, we are not only offering customers the option of several added attractions but also better public amenities such as more parking for cars and smoother access,” Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar said in a company statement.

Cities in the Gulf like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Manama, Doha and Muscat are home to some of the biggest architectural marvels that go by the name of “mall”. Dubai itself is home to two of the biggest architectural beauties of the region - the Mall of the Emirates and the Ibn Batuta Mall.

Now, the new landmark, The Dubai Mall, is expected to add to Dubai’s growing reputation in the global tourism market as a centre for “malling”.

Giving an idea of the other features of the mall, Alabbar said: “The Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre, the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink, the world’s largest indoor gold souk and hundreds of retailers will open simultaneously giving visitors several retail and leisure options.”

The aquarium, one of the world’s largest indoor ones, will feature 33,000 aquatic animals, representing over 85 different marine species. The ice rink, the Emaar statement said, would double up as a multipurpose venue for public and private functions apart from serving as the regular venue for skating enthusiasts.

This apart, there will be a number of other leisure facilities catering to various age groups and a 22-screen cineplex.

Adjoining the mall is The Address, a five-star hotel with 250 rooms and 450 serviced apartments.

The Dubai Mall will have parking facilities for 14,000 cars and there will be a dedicated bridge from Dubai’s arterial highway Sheikh Zayed Road giving access to the mall.

As for the date of opening the mall, Emaar Malls Group chief executive Jim Badour said: “The October opening has been planned to coincide with a key retail period that immediately follows, and thus will give our retailers a period abuzz with retail activity.”

The date coincides with an extended retail season in the region marked by the UAE National Day, the holy festival of Eid Al Adha, New Year and the now well-known Dubai Shopping Festival.

The new Dubai Mall is part of Emaar’s flagship mega-project, the 73-billion dirham ($20 billion) downtown Burj Dubai, billed as the world’s most prestigious square kilometre, the centerpiece of which is the Burj Dubai tower, set to become officially the world’s tallest building when it opens Sep 2009.

Scale, they say, is what marks the ongoing construction boom in the Gulf.

The Dubai Mall is just another example.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |