A brand new Ikea is set to open its doors in the UAE in mid-December, located at the soon-to-open Festival Plaza mall in Jebel Ali. Wednesday, December 18 has been hinted as a possible opening date.
The 35,000-square-metre store is the biggest in the UAE, complete with a warehouse, market hall, kids' area, cafe, restaurant and bakery, as well as a food store inside. The quoted square metres also includes a staff training centre and back-of-house facilities.
Click through the gallery above to see inside the soon-to-open store.
Stock is already inside, with show bedrooms set up, as well as a busy self-serve showroom. Despite the reported mid-December opening, there is no Christmas stock on the shelves.
New to this store regionally will be the Ikea bakery, which will bake fresh produce hourly, both for customers to buy and to be used in the spacious Ikea restaurant upstairs. There will also be an Ikea cafe, which has direct access from the mall.
In the heart of the store are the Swedish stairs, which are also new to this region. They have wooden seating and socialising areas, as well as steps to access the shop's upper level.
The new Ikea will proudly be home to the world's tallest Ikea Navigation Tower, the identifiable emblem of the stores. The tower will stands at 70 metres tall.
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 and Springs, Lakes and Meadows side of town.
Where is Dubai's new Ikea?
You can find the new mall at Wasl Gate, a new residential area in Jebel Ali:
A focus on affordability
For the new store, and brand as a whole, it seems that affordability is the focus going forward.
“Our prices are low so that as many people as possible can buy, that is our core strength,” Ikea's UAE and Oman managing director, Vinod Jayan said during a preview tour of the store on Tuesday, November 26.
“In fact, they are cheaper than there were in the UAE 10 years ago and we aim to become even more affordable in the future.”
Jayan added that a Sharjah store 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 Festival Plaza
This summer, it was announced that Festival Plaza was set to open in December 2019. Ikea will open to customers in line with the mall's grand opening.
The mall will house 120 stores; as well as the Ikea, you'll also find an Ace Hardware and Lulu Hypermarket there.
On top of the 120 shops, there will also be 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.
Of the project, Timothy Earnest, group director of Al-Futtaim Malls, said: "Festival Plaza is built around its customers’ needs, which were identified through extensive research. So, this truly is a mall that directly addresses customer demand".
The mall already has a website, located here, which highlights its handy location off Sheikh Zayed Road and in the new residential area.