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Fri 8 May 2009 11:04 AM

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Dubai's ruler to formally open world’s largest mall today

Dubai Mall's formal opening ceremony to see unveiling of The Dubai Fountain.

Dubai's ruler will formally open the world’s largest shopping mall on Friday, according to a media release.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai will perform the formal opening at The Dubai Mall in a ceremony that will be marked by the spectacular unveiling of The Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest performing water-music spectacle.

The mall saw a soft-opening in November 2008, The Dubai Mall is a retail and leisure destination with over 900 retail stores. By September of this year, the mall will host over 1,200 stores – the largest collection of retail brands under one roof. Sprawling over an area of 12 million sq ft, with a gross leasable area of 3.77 million sq ft, The Dubai Mall features several flagship stores and Middle East debuts of global brands.

The mall is also one of the largest family leisure destinations in the region: The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest acrylic panel and has over 33,000 aquatic animals. Other attractions include the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice-Rink and The Waterfall.

The Dubai Mall is part of Emaar's Burj Dubai project that comprises the Burj Dubai tower, one of the tallest towers in the world upon completion in 2008, The Dubai Mall, Burj Dubai Boulevard, The Lofts, The Old Town, The Old Town Island, The Residences, Burj Views, man-made lakes, landscaped parks and gardens.

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, said: “The Dubai Mall is a celebration of the commanding presence of Dubai on the global retail map. One of the most preferred choices for international retailers, the mall has been envisaged as a captivating family destination and will further strengthen the retail growth of Dubai. We are thankful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed for his support and patronage of this global project.”

A prime part of the opening ceremony would be the unveiling of The Dubai Fountain, a full-colour performance of dancing jets set to popular songs from Arabic and world music. Set on the 30-acre Burj Dubai Lake, the fountain shoots water jets as high as 500 ft (150 metres), equivalent to that of a 50-storey building.

It is the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination spread over a total area of 12 million sq ft. With a total internal floor area of 5.9 million sq ft, the mall has 3.77 million sq ft of gross leasable space which hosts 1,200 retail stores including over 160 food and beverage outlets in food courts that have a capacity to seat 3,000.

Geriant 10 years ago

This place has been deserted from the start, so hopefully having a royal visitor and entourage will increase traffic by a thousand or so, for five minutes. The shopkeepers are going broke one by one, yet the talk up by Emaar and its mouthpiece PR firms is ongoing. This is paradise on earth.

garick_angel 10 years ago

I come across some sites that mention Dubai Mall one of the largest in the world but not the Largest based on the GLA or Gross Leasable Area. GLA refers to the the number of square feet the property has for revenue-generating activities like retail, dining and amusements.This is to avoid confusion comparing to malls with a vast wasteland or unoccupied space for profit. Dubai Mall has a GLA of 3.77 million sq ft, does it still counts the unoccupied space to make it the biggest mall.

Ad 10 years ago

i dont think u came to Dubai Mall!! otherwise u wont say that! its damn busy!

Sand Jockey 10 years ago

The motto of Dubai, and likely most of the UAE, should be all about the spin. After all, they have successfully done the following: - Made people believe Dubai Mall is the largest in the world (it isn't) - Made people believe Dubai Mall is a success (it isn't, just ask the retailers) - Made people believe Dubai Mall is an entertainment zone (ok, maybe I'll give this one to them) It's an interesting phenomenon to watch Dubai put the spin on everything, wonder how they are going to spin the near junk bond rating of so many of their companies? SJ

veek 10 years ago

I've read the comments re: opening of the "supposed biggest mall" and I agree with the spin on things. Further, I agree with Geraint that the mall is busy busy busy. However, it may be busy in foot traffic, but really, who's buying. I suspect many retailers will close shop once they realize the sales numbers just aren't coming in. I think the Dubai Mall idea is a fantastic one, however, I don't see it being successful (in international terms) with the current management. But then again, they'll just put a spin on that too and gift wrap it as a huge success.

Roger Swainson 10 years ago

Has anyone compared Dubai Mall with the Mall of Asia in Manila? Apparantly boasting approximately 3,8 million square feet in size, it is rated only the third largest in the world. As commented above, on what basis is the square footage calculated? What I do not like about Dubai Mall is the poor signage, or indeed the complete lack of clear signage. The carpark in particular is the worst culprit. I've also experienced the annoyance on leaving the carpark and finding myself driving all the way to the Emirates Road instead of back to the Sheik Zayed Road. Again, poor signage!

WAYNE.H 10 years ago

What is it with these skeptics? To create something new in this world today is tough. Dubai is always at the fore front in everything. Believe me that takes some doing and needs proper recognition and encouragement. The global economic downturn affects everything negatively but in spite of that Dubai is still trudging on. And you know what? Dubai shall prevail and come out stronger because it offers real value relative to most other cities in the world that profess family hospitality.Definitely if you are below a certain income bracket you shall feel left out if you indulge yourself above your level. However, if you're here to build your fortune stay focused and remember where you're coming from.Do not succumb to living above your means and remain grateful for the opportunities and exposure Dubai provides.

Dr Nabeel 10 years ago

You have said what everyone living here should know, i.e, see the glass half-full and not half-empty.