Emirati’s love to shop. Dubai shopping is their favorite pastime. Maybe it’s the desert climate that has them addicted to the cool air-conditioned malls that surround them. But with nearly 70 malls and shopping centre already in existence, the list just keeps on expanding.
Starting with Dubai developer, Nakheel, and their announcement of several new projects which will add 4 million m² of new retail space to the Dubai market. Their first is the expansion of their flagship mall, Ibn Battuta. The Ibn Battuta Mall is based on the journeys of Ibn Battuta, a 14th-Century Arab explorer. Divided into 6 regions, China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia, and Andalusia, each region of the mall represents a location that the famous explorer traveled.
The design of each region, through architecture and artistry is meant to take its visitors on a journey. From Chinese sailing ships to life-sized statues of India elephant, its unique design adds a bit of enchantment to your shopping experience. Now Nakheel will be doubling the size of this exotic Dubai shopping centre, expanding it out within metres of the Dubai Metro station, providing easy access.
New Dubai Shopping Attraction Currently Under Construction
Phase II of the Dragon Mart Mall is under construction in International City. Dragon Mart is already the world’s largest trading hub for Chinese products outside of China. Phase II plans to almost double its size. But that is just the beginning for International City. Nakheel will also be adding India Mart, combining wholesale and retail Indian products, and the Great Mall Dubai.
Nakheel is also moving forward with its plan for a new mall on the trunk of Palm Jumeirah. The 2.5 billion AED ($685 million USD) Nakheel Mall, spanning 424,000 m², is targeted to open in 2016. And once the first phase of the Palm Deira is underway, the Palm Mall will follow. These plans will make Nakheel the largest shopping mall in the Middle East.
But don’t think Emaar, the infamous developer of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and the world’s largest mall, Dubai Mall, is sitting idly by. This commercial developer has announced its plans to expand on the world’s largest mall. Making it what? The world’s largest mall twice over?
Afraid not. As Emaar plans to outdo itself with plans for a mall even larger that the world’s largest. In partnership with Dubai Holding, and in conjunction with Universal Studios, the mega Dubai developer will construct the Mall of the World as part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid City project. It is expected to host over 80 million visitors a year, and house 100 hotel facilities.
Mohammed Bin Rashid City will be a “city within a city” and besides its mega Dubai shopping mall it will also include a park estimated to be 30% larger than Hyde Park in London.
Too Many Places to Shop?
So does this all seem to be a bit too much? A case can be created for just the opposite. With Dubai’s tourism growing at a rate of 13 percent per year, and with hotel revenues up 22 percent, and hotel occupancy rates reaching 82 percent, the market seems to support it. And, major retailers from around the world are flocking to the city to sell their wares.
But none of that is important if you love to shop. Just grab your wallet and a comfortable pair of shoes, and “shop ‘til you drop”.
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