Dubai-based retailer Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) has announced the launch of a 1,000,000 square feet community mall in Dubai’s International Media Production Zone (IMPZ).
The mall will be built in phases with the first phase measuring 300,000 square feet. The first part will be completed by 2015 and is worth Dhs275 million, the retailer said.
The project is also a part of larger Dhs3 billion-investment programme in Dubai that MAF announced last year, George Kostas, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Properties said.
The new community mall, which is yet to be named, is situated near the intersection of Al Khail Road and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road.
The phase one of the mall will serve major residential areas such as Victory Heights, Jumeirah Village, Jumeirah Golf Estates in addition to other popular communities such as Motor City, Sports City and Arabian Ranches.
Aside from a mix of retail units, the mall will be anchored by a Carrefour supermarket, family entertainment options such as Magic Planet and VOX cinemas, Kostas said.
He added that Dubai has been seeing a growing demand for “convenience retail” with a rise in population and tourist inflow to the emirate.
“Footfall and sales at all our shopping malls in Dubai continues to grow steadily, and we believe there is strong demand for our integrated shopping experience in local communities such as IMPZ,” said Kostas.
He also confirmed that MAF has bought the land to build the mall from TECOM Investments, which operates IMPZ and many other major production zones in Dubai, for an undisclosed amount.
The announcement of the latest community mall follows the launch of MAF’s My City Centre in Sharjah, a neighbourhood retail concept catering to local residential communities. The mall developer also said that it is planning to open more ventures under the My City Centre concept across the UAE in the next five years.
Kostas said that though Dubai’s market has space for more major malls, community centres have a larger potential.
“We could do another 10 or 20 in Dubai quite easily. We think there is a very big opportunity in community based centres,” he said.
The retail conglomerate is also planning to open community malls in countries such as the UAE, Egypt and Oman aside from its mega-mall projects, the MAF executive said.
“The number of community malls are dependent on locations that you can find and the size of communities,” said Kostas.
He added that community malls could bring in the concept of affordable shopping into Dubai’s market.
“I think we are quite well serviced on lower end brands, but need more mid -market brands and we see community malls are perfect to bring in lower point mid-market brands,” Kostas said.
MAF’s aggressive expansion plans in Dubai include two new hotel developments, renovating two existing hotels and the redevelopment of its flagship Mall of the Emirates. It will also open four new Carrefour supermarkets in the emirate.
The unlisted firm, which has 70 per cent of its assets based in the UAE, also aims to double the size of its business by 2018.