By Andy Sambidge
Arabian Business readers divided over future of Mall of the Emirates.
An online poll conducted by Arabian Business asking whether the new Dubai Mall and the Mall of the Emirates (MoE) can co-exist successfully has split opinion among readers.
As many people who took part in our survey believe Dubai Mall, which is due to open on October 30, will cause the MoE major problems as those who believe it will continue to attract shoppers.
We ran the poll after it was announced that the MoE is set to undergo a $135 million extension project.
The revamp will see the addition of increased facilities for shopping, dining and parking and, will be completed by the first quarter of 2010.
The expansion was announced by the Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Group, just weeks before the opening of the Dubai Mall, which will become the biggest shopping centre in the emirate.
The Dubai Mall, which is due to open on October 30, will feature more than 1,200 retail shops and 160 food and beverage outlets. Dubai Mall expects to attract around 30 million visitors in its first year.
And a total of 53 percent of respondents believe it will quickly take over as the emirate's number one location for shoppers.
Of those, 43 percent said a substantial number of shoppers would switch allegiance once the Dubai Mall opens while 10 percent thought it was the beginning of the end for the Mall of the Emirates.
The MoE expansion will add several facilities to the Mall of the Emirates including an additional 10,500 square metres of area for retailers and other service providers, a direct link for Dubai Metro commuters and increased parking spaces to accommodate 750 vehicles.
And the news of the expansion has left 38 percent of respondents firmly believing the mall will continue to thrive irrespective of the growing competition posed by Dubai Mall.
Another nine percent of people who took part in our poll said that while they believed the MoE would survive, a number of shop units could be forced to close as a result of saturation in the Dubai retail marketplace.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
MOE is a selfish mall. We are residents of Al Barsha and go there all the time to shop. We used to use their exits to get on to SZR. And don't blame us. When the toll gates came, people from all over started to use the small signal close to Lulu making it a nightmare for residents. What's the harm in letting people use their exits in the morning? Selfish people go down eventually.
I will still use MOE as it is nearest to me - but if Dubai Mall has Marks & Spencers...........