Emaar announces $400m expansion of Dubai Mall

Plan will include 240 new luxury shops and food and beverage outlets

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Emaar Properties has announced the Dh1.5 billion ($408 million) expansion of Dubai Mall as it seeks to attract more visitors and grow the venue's offerings.

The plan will include 240 new luxury shops and food and beverage outlets, and the contractor is already mobilising on-site, Emaar said on Monday. It did not give an estimated completion date.

Dubai Mall, which had 105 million visitors last year, up 19 per cent annually, is a popular destination for tourists and shoppers.

The development is a “great addition to one of the most visited sites in the world”, Mohamed Alabbar, founder of Emaar, said.

“This expansion reflects Dubai’s ambitious vision to remain at the forefront of global innovation and culture, further solidifying our city's position as a top global destination.”

Dubai is investing heavily in boosting its tourism industry.

The city hosted 5.18 million international overnight visitors in the first quarter of 2024, compared with 4.67 million tourist arrivals during the same period last year, according to official data.

The emirate recorded its best annual tourism performance last year, with international tourist arrivals to the emirate increasing by 19.4 per cent annually to 17.15 million, amid the continued expansion of its economy.

Last year’s figure exceeded the previous record of 16.73 million visitors registered in 2019, according to the latest data published by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism.

Dubai is also building a new passenger terminal at Al Maktoum International, the emirate's second airport also known as Dubai World Central, as its main hub, Dubai International, inches closer to full capacity.

Meanwhile, retail spending across the UAE rose 14 per cent annually last year, driven by fashion (which grew by 31 per cent year on year), general retail (up 16 per cent), leisure and entertainment (15 per cent) and hypermarkets and supermarkets (3 per cent), mall operator Majid Al Futtaim said in a report in April.

Inaugurated in 2008, Dubai Mall is spread over 1.2 million square metres and is among the world's largest shopping malls.

Currently, it houses more than 1,200 shops, including two anchor department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Bloomingdale's, along with 200 international dining options.

Some of its entertainment and leisure attractions include Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Reel Cinema’s 24-screen cineplex, KidZania Dubai, Play DXB, Dubai Ice Rink, Ekart and Zabeel Sports District.

Emaar's recurring revenue from malls, hospitality, leisure, entertainment, and commercial leasing rose more than 26 per cent annually to Dh9.2 billion last year, the company said in February.

Revenue from this portfolio constituted over 34 per cent of the company’s total revenue last year.

In February, Emaar also announced two luxury projects in the emirate valued at a combined Dh96 billion as the property market continues to grow amid strong investor demand.

Updated: June 04, 2024, 8:30 AM