Ikea opened at Festival Plaza mall in Jebel Ali on Wednesday, December 18. And at the busy opening, Ikea's UAE and Oman managing director, Vinod Jayan announced that 90,000 people applied for 200 jobs at the store.
"Al Futtaim Group and Ikea are quite popular, but we were taken aback when we had 90,000 applications when we opened vacancies for this store," Jayan said in a press conference at the opening.
"We had to go through all those 90,000 applications and had 36 assessment factors.
"To top it all, trainers spent 550 hours training the co-workers. We have more than 200 new members of staff here in the new store," he added. "We are expanding a lot more in coming months in UAE, Oman and Cairo."
At a November preview of the Swedish furniture store ahead of the opening, Jayan revealed plans for a Sharjah store, which is expected to be announced in 2020, and an Oman Ikea is set to open in 2021.
There is currently an Ikea at Dubai's Festival City Mall, and at Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi.
Everything you need to know about Ikea and Festival Plaza
Located at Festival Plaza mall in Jebel Ali, Dubai, the 35,000-square-metre Ikea is the biggest in the UAE, complete with a warehouse, market hall, kids' area, cafe, restaurant and bakery, as well as a food store.
New to this store regionally is the Ikea bakery, which will bake fresh produce hourly, both for customers to buy and to be used in the spacious restaurant upstairs. There is also an Ikea cafe, which has direct access from the mall.
Since June 2019, the Swedish furniture giant's trademark blue building has been very visible from Sheikh Zayed Road. It will be a handy stop for residents on the Dubai Marina, JLT, Discovery Gardens, Springs, Lakes and Meadows side of town.
Festival Plaza has 120 shops, a 500-seat food court with more than 40 food and beverage options, a kids' club and 2,310 parking spaces all spread across 64,800 square metres.
As well as Ikea, you'll find Marks & Spencer, Lulu Hypermarket, Jawhara Jewellery, Kare and Pan Emirates among the stores in the mall.