By Andy Sambidge
More than 54m people visited shopping centre last year; average retail sales up by 35%
The Dubai Mall was the world's most-visited shopping and leisure destination, welcoming more than 54 million visitors in 2011, officials have said.
The number of shoppers last year represented an increase of about 15 percent on the 47 million visitors in 2010.
The numbers also surpass visitor arrivals to all landmark leisure destinations and theme parks in the world including Times Square (39.2 million); Central Park (38 million); and Niagara Falls (22.5 million) among others.
The number of visitors to The Dubai Mall is more than the number of annual tourists to New York City in 2011, reported at 50.2 million.
Retail sales across the various outlets in the mall also posted average growth of about 35 percent compared with 2010, mall officials added.
Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said: "The Dubai Mall's record-breaking footfall elevates its position as the world's most visited tourism and shopping destination, topping the annual visitor arrivals to all landmark attractions anywhere in the world.
"The visitor numbers to The Dubai Mall are also a strong testament to the growing appeal of Dubai as a preferred tourism destination, and a compelling indicator of the robust performance of the city's retail sector led by this trophy asset of Emaar.
He added: "The visitor footfall is matched by the increase in retail sales, highlighting the contribution of The Dubai Mall to Dubai's retail sector."
On Wednesday, organisers of Dubai's annual shopping festival said they are expecting an up to 10 percent surge in retail sales thanks to a rise in participating stores and an uptick in tourist numbers.
The Gulf emirate’s month-long event, which kicked off on Thursday, will see more than 6,000 stores slash their prices to attract tourists and local encourage residents to bolster their retail spending.
“We are looking to increase the spend to about 5 to 10 percent more than last year,” said Laila Suhail, CEO of Dubai Events and Promotions (DEP), the organisers of the festival.
“We are looking to attract more [visitors]. We make sure we coincide with the GCC spring holiday and the Chinese New Year to attract the maximum number of visitors to Dubai.”
Rubbish... must be getting their stats from the dubai real estate experts..No way is this the most visited shopping and tourism destination in the world.
"The number of visitors to The Dubai Mall is more than the number of annual tourists to New York City in 2011, reported at 50.2 million."
Surely a figure of 54 million visitors must include many,many, many millions of repeats visits, for example a person goes to the organic store three times a week and the supermarket twice a week?
Let us say there are just short of 2 million people resident in Dubai. The Mastercard 'Index of Global Destination Cities' stats published in AB in June, forecast 8 million visitors to Dubai in 2011, they also forecast that they would spend $7.8 billion between them. An average spend of $1,000 per head.
I'm sure sales are up year-on-year, it was always cavernous and mainly empty in 2010, plus there are more people living Downtown now. However, to be honest many people go there as a family outing and window shop, aquarium gaze etc save on the A/C in summer.
Well I hope the growth persists with all this talk of retailers being asked to fork out rocketing leasing costs in a global economic climate such as we have right now and the negative geo-political forces at work in this region.
Just one observation, the number of NY tourists is unique visitors, the number of mall visitors is clearly not unique. Not sure why they chose those numbers as they reflect totally different concepts.
The only relevant number is revenue and that seems to be good news, but then it is hard to understand some recent stories about struggling Dubai shoppers. Maybe both stories are correct and Dubai mall has captured business from the rest of the malls. Maybe epm's scepticism is granted.
Does the figure include the thousands of people who work at the mall and go there everyday? It must!
Figures are not surprising, they seem correct we have our shops in there and we saw an unbelievable business and footfall this year. Thanks to the Arab springs Dubai hugely benefited from these events and tourism was automatically redirected to Dubai in big numbers...Hope the trend will continue..
SM Mega Mall, Mandayoung ,Philppines 800,000 persons per day. 292 million persons per year .Wikipedia
Good news for mall-owner to rejoice but bad news for shop-owners to grim as rent is bound to go up based on such statisitc
The real benefit of such footfalls can only be measured after detailed and depth study
Here we go again, Emaar PR folks going for biggest, longest, thickest, whatever with absolutely no scientific evidence. There are no folks at the door counting.
Another distortion of facts no doubt. When I lived there, I visited the mall at least 2 times a week, or 100 visits a year. Assuming an average similar pattern, this accounts for approximately 500,000 unique visitors a year, which is a quarter of the touted population of Dubai, or less if you include the tourists who may stick their head in the door. Hardly spectacular.