By Andy Sambidge
Shopping mall announces renovation over next two years; to include new cinema, anchor tenants
Dubai shopping mall BurJuman on Monday announced plans for a major renovation aimed at increasing retail space by more than a fifth.
Construction work to its north wing are due to be rolled out over the next 18-24 months, with initial MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) work starting immediately.
Work on the main structural changes are set to start in the last quarter of 2011, BurJuman said in a statement.
The renovation will be carried out in stages to ensure minimal disruption to the mall's normal operational activities, it added.
The renovations will include the addition of new anchor tenants, including a major grocery store.
Other key elements include the addition of a fourth floor cinema complex and the extension of the third floor family entertainment area to include an extended food court.
Following the renovations, the food court will be doubled in size and several new F&B brands are expected to sign up.
Several new luxury, high-street and high fashion brands are also expected to join the mall's retail portfolio, including brands exclusive to BurJuman in the UAE.
BurJuman's total retail area will be increased to m ore than one million square feet from the current 800,000 square feet.
Majid Al-Ghurair, president of BurJuman, said: "The addition of high-traffic tenants such as a major grocery store and cinema are expected to further drive footfall and round off our current retail portfolio.
"Visitors not only look at malls as places to shop but as a complete entertainment destination. We have planned for some time now to add to our family entertainment offering and the extension of the play area and addition of a multiplex cinema will be a major step in this direction."
The upcoming renovation plans build on BurJuman's most recent enhancements completed in early 2009, which included the construction of 34,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the mall's ground floor.
If BurJuman, surely the classiest of Dubai's malls, can solve the traffic problem with better access then it might finally work. I live a few blocks down overlooking The Creek, yet except on a Friday, it can take an hour to get to the centre because of the awful traffic, a distance of a kilometre.
When the parking charges were introduced a couple of years ago, I predicted the demise of this centre in numerous notes to Arabian Business. Having visted the centre for the first time in over two years the other day it is clear that the current format of high priced stores and no anchor is not working. Maintenance is poor, Toilets were dirty. Its management have not told the public that the parking charges were repealed. The centre was empty and even major restaurants have closed. With the number of empty shops in the centre casued through short sighted and poor management, it is not surprising that something must be done to save this centre.
I feel sorry for Burjuman. In the old days a really good mall but now a poor location when you compare it to Mall of the Emirates or Dubai Mall. I understand them opening a cinema etc to try and increase footfall but does Dubai really need more retail space??
A few years ago, I had to go to the oursourcing centre for British visa in Burjuman..each time I was forced to pay parking charges. I felt I was being ripped off...when I complained to the mgt I got no response..
I used to visit Bur Juman all the time. Convenient location, centre of town, ease of use. Then they started renovating, no more supermarket (yes there really was one there earlier!), paying for parking etc. all the negatives that drove me away a few years ago. I havent visited since. The "renovation" mentioned here that is coming up doesnt convince me to return. I hope they realise where they lost their way. It was really so good before.
Ronald should walk
The management could not step up when the crisis hit.
So me thinks its time to bid farewell to them and infuse new blood and fresh ideas.
So no parking charges? Good to know!
Bin Hendi closed Japengo, Bella Donna and Cafe Havana. Bur Juman is a "Dead Zone". Unless you live within a 5 minute walk it is not worth the traffic when other malls offer the same or better options.
I remember when Bur Juman was opening its extension, there were talks of a cineplex. However, the cineplex did not pan out - whether it was just rumours or the plan was written out - we did not find out. At that time there were very few cinemas and would have made perfect sense with the central location. Unfortunately with the current economic situation, I feel that Bur Juman has missed the bus.