By Soren Billing
EXCLUSIVE: Jim Badour has been replaced as CEO by Nasser Rafi but stays with company in advisory role.
The CEO of Emaar Malls Group (EMG) Jim Badour has stepped down, and has been replaced with Nasser Rafi, a spokesperson confirmed on Monday without giving a reason for the move.
The company, established in 2005, opened Dubai's largest mall, The Dubai Mall, in November last year.
The mall is the group's flagship development and one of the world's largest shopping, lifestyle and entertainment destinations.
However, the mall's retailers have complained about poor sales, as the opening coincided with the start of the global crisis.
New CEO Rafi said there was "no reason" for Badour's job move, adding that he was still working with the company in an advisory role.
"He is a great leader within the retail industry. He is still working with us at this point as an advisor on different projects," Rafi said.
"He has done his hand over of so many stores, he opened the largest retail mall every built," he added.
Emaar Malls Group also recently opened the Dubai Marina Mall and is developing Cairo Gate in Egypt.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.
Another high paid ex-pat executive bites the dust!
..it depends on market forces and derivations..the buying 'mood' of the people.. What ROI (Return On Investment) can the world's largest mall get, when it doesn't have the power of its greatness to lure buyers.. Only window shoppers..!!! And that's haunting.
Things will only get worse for the Malls, these companies saw the likes of Mall of the Emirates booming for a couple of years and thought they could do the same so now we have a flood of Malls under construction many on a mega Scale. there is just too much retail space here now... to add to this the retailers have gotten greedy, when the volume of sales started to drop over a year ago they increased the prices to shore up their profits. thus making the prices unrealistic for the average person. now that they have lost the confidence of the consumer the are panicking with sales and Gimmicks ..when its too late its a lost hope for them
I think his step down will not change the fact that retailers and shop owners in the malls are the greediest i have ever seen, it is time for us the consumer to take them for a ride. No wonder so many shops are closing down, there are so many rennovations going on in this bad times.
The whole Dubai Retail industry has shot the golden goose. In the mid 1990's i would return to the UK and heap praise on the pricing of a mixture of products including jewellery, electrical goods etc... Now i hear visitors complaining that "rip-off" Dubai is definitely crossed off their list as a shopping destination. Dubai is decades away from being a "Las Vegas" in terms of numbers of visitors, so needs to run a new shopping festival where all goods are sold at cost for one year just to grow some confidence back with consumers. Customer service is truly archaic, prices are so high it's almost stupidity and considering the number of malls the rents are ridiculous!
Dismal sales at the malls (down over 20% year over year) leads to all kinds of discontent but can be attributed to the state of the economy. Smart retailers plan for these eventualities Dismal footfall, down dramatically, can also be attributed to the economy. However, when the flagship mall of a major group opens late, opens with countless problems, and opens with 50% occupancy, you blame the management team, who are led by none other than the CEO. It is doubtful, in this environment of "silence is better than the truth", that we will ever know exactly why Jim Badour stepped down but one has to surmise that he is another casualty of the economic downturn. SJ
I agree that Dubai is not teh shoping desination that is ones was . How is it possible that all electronics are more expensive than in europe. They have Import tax, Value added tax and a bigger overhead as people paid more as they also have to pay taxes again. Please enlighten me!
I wanted to buy an HD video camera. I went to some stores but the prices are crazy. I am going to the UK in 6 weeks time and the prices there look much better for exactly the same item. And that includes 15% VAT! Dubai really needs to cut prices drastically in these tough times if it was to preserve some kind of retail business.
The malls are over priced and often between 30-100% more expensive than London and even greater %ages when compared to New York. OK, so not everyone can go to London or New York to buy things; but there's always the power of the internet... Agree on the comment on electrical goods. When I first arrived here, electrical goods were significantly cheaper than European prices. Now, minimum 30% more expensive. How come? Easy - greed and the shoring up of profit margins. And now the greedy retailers are the first to complain no-one buys anything in their stores. Well guess what? People are voting with their feet. I for one have not bought anything other than basics and essentials in a Dubai mall for 18 months given the greed and rip-off of the retailers. I'm sure I am not the only one given the complaints of "lack of sales".....