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Wed 30 Jul 2008 04:12 PM

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Dubai Mall hit by two month delay

Developer Emaar says it wants to ensure that all facilities are ready for centre's grand opening.

The opening of the Dubai Mall has been pushed back two months to October 30 due to delays in the construction of infrastructure facilities such as parking, Emaar Malls Group said on Wednesday.

“By opening on October 30, we are not only offering customers the option of several added attractions but also better public amenities such as more parking for cars and smoother access,” chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar said.

“The development of global landmark projects like The Dubai Mall is a complex process that involves co-ordination with project managers, retail tenants and government authorities,” he said.

Emaar said in April that the mall, which will have a shopping area the size of 50 football fields and is part of a $19 billion Downtown Burj Dubai development, was on schedule to open on August 28.

“The Dubai Mall is already in global spotlight and it is important that it opens with maximum shopping and leisure attractions,” said Emaar Malls chief executive Jim Badour.

“It is also crucial to have a strong supporting infrastructure, which will make access in and out of the mall a smooth and stress-free experience.”

Alabbar said the mall is expecting 30 million customers in the first year of trade and that to support this, it will have over 14,000 car park spaces and a dedicated bridge from Sheikh Zayed Road for direct access.

The October opening date coincides with an extended retail season in the region marked by the UAE National Day, Eid Al Adha, New Year and the Dubai Shopping Festival.

The mall will be home to more than 1,200 retail outlets, two anchor department stores and more than 120 food and beverage outlets.

Non-retail attractions include one of the world’s largest indoor aquariums, a SEGA indoor theme park and an ice rink.

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