Shopping mall powerhouse Majid Al Futtaim unveiled its smallest outlet in the Middle East as part of a drive to harness the convenience retail market.
The Dhs57m My City Centre Al Barsha is expected to cater for around 40,000 mostly Emirati residents living in Barsha South and the new Villa Lantana and Arjan developments.
Located by Dubai Science Park, the mall will be largely taken up by a 1,187-sqm Carrefour, which will sit alongside F&B outlets such as McDonald’s, Shakespeare and Co and Papa Murphy’s
Retailers including Aldo, Sketchers, Jacky’s and budget store Dollar Plus are among a minority of fashion and lifestyle brands available.
Kim McInnes, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim’s shopping mall business units, said there would be no further expansion of the mall itself though more places may be added to the 118-space car park in the future.
Speaking to Gulf Business, he said: “It’s a lot more local in terms of smaller, more community markets, where for example the local population will continue to grow. This one is really catering for the local Emiratis for food and convenience primarily. These properties continue to meet the demand for the existing market that is growing. It can only get better. This is the smallest property in our portfolio by far. We did that specifically so it could meet the demands of the existing market, but also benefit any additional growth.”
The Al Barsha development is the second under Majid Al Futtaim’s new My City Centre brand following the completion of My City Centre Nasseriya, Sharjah, in 2014.
McInnes added: “Most of the [development] strategy is linked with Carrefour. So wherever they’re looking to grow, we will build shopping centres to accommodate them. We have a separate business unit outside of the main business unit specifically for this type of product. It is an important part of our business model.
“We will continue to build the super, regional shopping centres in addition to this wherever the market dynamic dictates. Our large regional centres are performing very well; we will continue re-inventing them and re-merchandising them and they just draw from a much bigger trade area. We don’t want to start cannibalising on our large trade areas
“The shoppers who would buy here and use these type of services wouldn’t necessarily shop at Mall of the Emirates. This is more in the convenience neighbourhood.”