By Andy Sambidge
Visitor numbers to world's largest retail destination rise 20% to 65 million, says Emaar
Retail sales at The Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping destination, rose by 24 percent during 2012 compared to the previous year, developer Emaar said on Saturday.
The company also said the retail mall welcomed a total of 65 million visitors last year, an increase of more than 20 percent compared to the 54 million visitors seen in 2011.
More than 200 nationalities visited The Dubai Mall, a statement said, adding that the total number of visitors in 2012 surpassed annual tourists to New York City (52 million) and Los Angeles (41 million).
Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said: "The visitor footfall to The Dubai Mall has exceeded our expectations every year since its opening in 2008, and in 2012, we marked another landmark by welcoming 65 million visitors.
"This is complemented by the growth in retail sales of 24 percent compared to 2011. These figures are a clear testament to the the mall's evolution as the city's must-visit tourist and retail hub." He did not give a specific value for the mall's sales performance.
He added: "The Dubai Mall has clearly set a global benchmark in mall and leisure operations, and we are building on it further with the new expansion programme across 1 million sq ft."
In November, Emaar said it will expand Dubai Mall to include luxury homes, serviced residences and a new hotel as part of its 1m sq ft expansion.
Dubai, home to some of the world’s glitziest shopping malls and an indoor ski slope, has staged something of a recovery this year, partly due a tourism and retail boom.
Tourist arrivals increased 10 percent and hotel revenue 19 percent in the first half of the year.
Retail accounts for around 30 percent of GDP in the emirate, according to Standard Chartered estimates. Dubai is home to about 40 shopping malls.
This makes little if any sense.
65 million visitors at Dubai Mall in 2012. That is over 178,500 a day. And is a higher number than the total pax number at DXB - the majority of who are in transit.
Official visitor numbers to Dubai in 2011 were 9.3m according to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). This is significantly less than the number of annual tourists to New York City (52 million) and Los Angeles (41 million) as quoted above.
How Dubai Mall measures its numbers is a mystery but some realism is required.
It would also be a great leap forward if the media (including Arabian Business) actually questioned these numbers rather than simply regurgitating press releases.
It looks like a nice way to spicing up numbers. Visitors to Mall = Residents of UAE plus tourists from abroad. The comparison of mall visitors to e.g. tourists visiting New York does not make any sense.
@Robert: Good work! Now see how many people reside in the UAE; assume these people visited the Mall multiple times. How many times did each resident visit Dubai Mall?
It is widely known these figures are concocted to raise the public profile of whatever the authorities want to market- an elaborate PR exercise. What they didn't expect is smart guys like you who actually do the math to see if everything adds up!