Al Ghurair Centre, one of the oldest shopping malls in Dubai, has announced that it will invest an additional Dhs60 million for further renovations to the mall.
The investment follows a Dhs2 billion expansion of the mall last year that almost doubled its retail space with an addition of up to 130 new stores.
Post the renovation, the mall will include an 80,000 square feet Carrefour hypermarket, about 50 new retail brands and a number of street-based restaurants that will open for business by the first quarter of 2015.
Al Ghurair Centre also announced that it will open a new youth fashion zone comprising of international brands such as Billabong, Roxy and Elements while major retailers such as Landmark, Apparel and Azadea will introduce new brands, a statement said.
“This revamp and last year’s expansion are all part of our aim to establish Al Ghurair Centre as an urban village square,” said David Thurling, vice president of the Al Ghurair Centre.
“By expanding the dining precinct and introducing new restaurants with outdoor seating we are creating a platform where shoppers can have front row views of our street-based events.”
The mall also featured a number of events post its revamp in a bid to increase footfall.
In March this year, Al Ghurair Centre hosted Dub Fest, a 10-day international festival of street theatre, acrobatics, music and comedy along with other events such as Band Jam Battle of the Bands and Street Con Urban Art Fes.
“Our annual events calendar comprises numerous outdoor street events, geared towards making Al Ghurair Centre part of an urban precinct as seen in cities like London and New York,” said Thurling.
“We’re trying to create a little bit of Covent Garden here in Dubai, something that no other shopping mall in the city can achieve.”
He added that the mall landscape in the UAE, and globally, is pretty formulaic.
“We recognise that we are basically another shopping mall in a place where there’s a shopping mall at every corner, so we want to challenge the accepted model by capitalising on the unique city buzz of Deira,” said Thurling.
“We’re not the newest or the biggest mall, but we’re distinctly urban in that most of our customers actually walk to the mall from nearby neighbourhoods.”
Dubai’s major shopping malls have undergone significant expansion over the last year as mall developers look to capitalise on the soaring demand for retail space in the emirate.
UAE-based retail group Majid Al Futtaim is currently carrying out a Dhs1 billion redevelopment and expansion programme at its flagship Mall of the Emirates that aims to add new brands to its retail mix. Meanwhile, the emirate’s other mega mall, The Dubai Mall is also undergoing expansion to increase its area by one million square feet.
Another mall that is being expanded is Dubai Festival City, which began a two-phase refurbishment programme earlier this year.