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Thu 6 Dec 2007 04:00 AM

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Emaar Malls Group shuns hyper activity

Emaar Malls Group CEO opts for two large-format supermarkets as part of ‘clustered’ FMCG offering.

The Dubai Mall has rejected the hypermarket approach in its upcoming FMCG offering, the CEO of Emaar Malls Group has revealed.

In an exclusive interview with Retail News, Rashid Zakaria Doleh said hypermarkets "didn't fit with how we want to position the shopping centre," and the mall will instead open large-format supermarkets.

"The reason why is because, with 3.7 million ft², there will be a vast array of retail and so everything you could expect to find is represented, and we are discussing with the same people [supermarket operators] about other opportunities."

The two supermarkets, measuring 55,000ft² and 22,000ft², as part of the mall's "clustered" retail layout, will be located on the lower ground floor of the development.

The supermarkets will be surrounded by "a multitude of daily-required services," most importantly parking, from the mall's total space for more than 14,000 cars.

The floor will be dedicated to convenience, with confirmed fixtures to include banks and hair salons, to create a "service cluster" and its front will feature food and beverage outlets overlooking the lake promenade.

"This is a full day out; you'd be lucky to get around the mall in a full day. We're catering to your breakfast, lunch and dinner," he said.

Doleh said the supermarkets will target the 115,000 people who will be living at Downtown Burj Dubai, located 1 km² away.

"The Dubai Mall certainly is our flagship because we plan to build 150 of these, so obviously it is the most important for us and will set the benchmark for what we will do in the future as we move forward.

"We decided to cluster one floor into the supermarkets, services and everyday FMCG needs, and there will be a healthy and beauty section."

Doleh said the clustering approach across the mall will allow visitors, expected to reach 30 million in the first year, to "find what they're looking for and once they do, they have a depth and breadth in that category to shop around."

Leisure attractions for shoppers will include an 80,000ft² family entertainment centre, world's largest indoor gold souk, and the Kidzania 60,000ft² miniature city for children.

Emaar Malls Group's "global diversification strategy will incorporate 100 million ft² of leasable space in the Middle East, North Africa, Indian Subcontinent and China," he said, with Egypt's retail industry a strong draw for the company.

"Cairo Gate will be one of the largest shopping centres in Egypt at 2.4 million ft², and Uptown will reach 1.2 million ft².

"We're also looking into Syria, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan as part of our global diversification strategy," he revealed.

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