Sharjah City Centre Plans Dhs200m Expansion

MAF’s expansion plans come on the back of a potential retail boom in Sharjah.



UAE mall developer Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) has announced a Dhs200 million expansion for Sharjah City Centre as a result of the northern emirate’s retail boom.

The redevelopment project will include an expansion of the mall’s retail space by an additional 13,500sqm of gross leasable area, making way for 28 new shopping and dining options.

The mall will also have a new multi-screen cinema adding to its entertainment options.

MAF said that the mall’s existing public areas and facilities will also be upgraded as a part of its redevelopment.

“Sharjah City Centre’s expansion and refurbishment promotes the emirate’s wider aims to further develop its retail and entertainment landscape, and cater to the increasing needs of its growing population and increasing number of tourists,” said Dimitri Vazelakis, executive managing director – shopping malls from Majid Al Futtaim properties.

“Following the recent successful upgrade to Sharjah City Centre’s dining area, this additional Dhs200 million investment will further diversify the malls’ shopping options and leisure pursuits, offering a refreshed shopper experience.”

The redevelopment project is expected to start by mid-2014.

MAF has been revamping its retail offerings and expanding its space across Dubai due to high retail demand.

Earlier this year, the developer announced a massive redevelopment project worth Dhs1 billion for its Mall of the Emirates. The project, dubbed Evolution 2015, will add more shopping, dining and entertainment options to the mall.

Deira City Centre, one of the oldest malls in the emirate, is currently undergoing a Dhs22 billion redevelopment.

The UAE’s retail space has been showing strong growth despite average retail rents in Dubai amounting to $114 per square feet per annum, with Sharjah’s retail demand edging up as Dubai’s retail market becomes more saturated.

Mohammed Faheem, senior research analyst at CBRE Middle East said: “Despite being in close proximity to Dubai, quality malls in Sharjah have been able to achieve high occupancy rates and footfalls with limited scope for new entrants.”

“High occupancy rates in existing regional malls and limited space for new retail entrants has resulted in expansion of existing malls as well as emergence of new ones.”