By Andy Sambidge
Arabian Business poll suggests demand isn't what is used to be for retail therapy.
The biggest shopping mall in Dubai will open its doors in October but results of an Arabian Business online poll has questioned the demand for more shops in the Gulf region.
Dubai Mall, part of the $14 billion Downtown Burj Dubai development, opens on October 30 and will feature 3.77 million sq ft of retail space with more than 1,200 retail outlets, two anchor department stores and more than 120 food and beverage outlets.
But 80 percent of people who responded to our poll on Friday questioned the need for more shops, believing the city to be close to saturation point.
Of those, 35 percent said they were sick and tired of the whole shopping experience in Dubai and felt ill just at the prospect of having to walk around the many miles of retail space on offer.
Another 45 percent of people said shops in some shopping malls in the region may start to struggle unless they offer shoppers something different.
And that's what bosses at the Dubai Mall are planning to do with the Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre, one of the world's largest indoor aquariums.
It will be a showcase of over 33,000 aquatic animals, representing over 85 different marine species.
The mall will also include Dubai Ice Rink which will also double as a multipurpose venue for public and private functions apart from serving as the regular venue for skating enthusiasts.
The results of our online poll also showed that 16 percent of respondents believed there would never be enough shops in the Gulf region as shopping is one of the main passions of local people.
And a further four percent believed the retail market still had further potential growth, citing the number of major international brands who have recently announced they are to move to the region.
The latest big names include Australian department store Myers and US deli Balduccis.
So Dubai is starting to lose its lustre after all. Even Utopias on earth can fade. No sparkle remains for certain eternity. Dubai has reached the pinnacle of Commerce. Now it should diverge to more options rather than Malls + Real Estate. There are many options.