By Beatrice Thomas
David Thurling brands marketing 'typical and predictive' as Al Ghurair embarks on large-scale street events
The vice-president of Al Ghurair Centre in Deira has panned the “typical and predictive marketing” of many malls in Dubai as he hailed the success of its own new strategy focusing on large-scale street events to increase footfall at the centre.
Faced with fierce competition from Dubai’s mega malls such as Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates, the centre, which underwent a big expansion in the second half of 2013, has turned to filling the streets around the Al Ghurair Centre to increase footfall within the mall and “attract a new type of retailer to the renovated, multi-use centre”.
It said it had hosted large-scale events such as The Battle of The Bands music competition, Street Con Urban Art Fest and Dub Fest International Street Theatre and Comedy Fair.
Dub Fest, which saw over 300 shows with more than 30 international artists from March 20 to 29, generated a visitor footfall of over 500,000 for the mall and increased footfall by 50 percent compared to the same period last year – the highest also since its expansion in October 2013.
“Our strategy is to develop unique branded events that differentiate us from the typical and predictive marketing carried out by many malls,” Al Ghurair Centre vice-president David Thurling said.
“We are also determined to turn our mall and surrounding streets into a true urban tourist destination for Dubai.”
Thurling said the success of Al Ghurair Centre’s inaugural Dub Fest had been beyond expectations.
“The community fully embraced the 10 day event turning out in huge numbers, more than 500,000, to witness over 300 performances,” he said. “We look forward to making future Dub Fest’s even bigger and believe it has the potential to become a landmark event on the Dubai events calendar”.
Is this not similar to what you did with Cirque Du Soleil at Ibn Battuta ? Whereby the focus for footfall for the retailer is Zero and the Mall now becomes an Entertainment Unit only for that short period of time. I guess its easy to criticize well established Malls like Mall of The Emirates, Deira City Center and Dubai Mall who have held their grounding the trick is to aspire to their success and try and achieve it. Footfall is one thing actual gaining and maintaining shoppers is another.