Dubai Square, the new mega shopping destination that was announced earlier this year, will not compete with the emirate’s current largest retail hub – Dubai Mall, a senior executive has said.
Located at the Dubai Creek Harbour development, Dubai Square was launched by Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties as a ‘tech-driven’ retail project.
The new mall, which will offer 8.07 million sq ft of gross floor retail space, will have nearly double the gross leasable area of Dubai Mall.
“The true potential of this new project will be unveiled when it opens,” said Emaar Malls CEO Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne.
Spread across three levels, Dubai Square will feature the Middle East’s largest Chinatown, an events arena, luxury retail, dining and leisure outlets, as well as a cineplex, a waterpark, and an Art District.
The mall will also promote ‘omnichannel retailing’ and offer facilities such as personalised AI recommendations, 3D printed clothing and quick checkout solutions.
Dubai Square will also be linked directly to the Dubai Creek Tower – set to become Dubai’s tallest tower – through an underground extension.
“It will be unequalled in the world in terms of digitisation and the type of experiences that customers will be able to enjoy in many ways. Our teams are actively working on defining that and making that happen,” said Bousquet-Chavanne.
“We are working with partners – who have the same vision – so that when it opens, it will have a very compelling proposition for the customers,” he added.
While the mall is anticipated to become a huge draw for tourists once it opens, Bousquet-Chavanne is convinced that it will not impact traffic to Emaar’s other major retail hub – Dubai Mall, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month.
The mall, which is linked to the current tallest tower in Dubai – and the world – Burj Khalifa, has welcomed 80 million visitors per year since 2014, with expectations of footfall reaching roughly 85 million this year.
Up to 97 per cent of the tourists who visit Dubai make a trip to the mall, according to Dubai Tourism.
So will the opening of Dubai Square affect traffic to Dubai Mall?
“You don’t have to choose – I think you can do both,” opined Bousquet-Chavanne.
“Looking at the number of nights that tourists spend in Dubai – as long as we [Emaar Malls Group] have compelling destinations that are differentiated and that gives tourists a reason to come and visit, we will make sure that we have the lion’s share of their time when they come here,” he said.
“Therefore it is not the notion of one versus the other. It is having a very compelling reason to spend three days in our world when they come to Dubai – that is my intention. And I’m confident this can happen,” he added.
Bousquet-Chavanne, who took on the role in Emaar Malls in July this year, also affirmed that investments will continue into Dubai Mall.
The mall recently expanded its Fashion Avenue, adding 150 luxury brands including Middle East flagships and first-time concepts. Future expansion plans include the Zabeel extension and the Fountain Views retail offer, which will add 5,000 additional parking spots.
“We have made substantial investments in Fashion Avenue extension and there will other investments that we will make in the years to come to make sure that Dubai mall stays very much iconic and relevant – forever. That is my vision,” he stated.