By Andy Sambidge
New project will create Dubai's biggest collection of top-brand shops.
Plans for a major extension to Dubai's Festival City - to incorporate the largest collection of luxury retailers in the emirate - have been revealed.
The Collection at Festival Centre, a 650,000 sq ft luxury expansion to the retail resort, will feature globally recognised flagship anchor brands and a mix of more than 170 premium fashion labels, designer homewares and top eateries.
The extension plan was showcased for the first time at the MAPIC 08 exhibition held at Cannes, France on Wednesday.
The Collection, which is designed to link directly into the 400-room Four Seasons Hotel, will complete the 2.9 million sq ft Festival Centre venue.
Dubai’s total market potential for luxury retail and leisure is forecast to show impressive growth from seven billion dirhams in 2010 to more than 20 billion by 2015.
Visitors to Dubai currently represent 69 percent of all luxury retail and leisure spending and this figure is forecast to rise to 77 percent by 2015 when 15 million visitors are expected to visit Dubai.
The ground and first floors of the Collection will be dedicated to luxury retailing and department stores while the second floor will feature designer homewares, a five star day spa and a luxury foodhall.
Michelin starred fine dining roof top restaurants are also proposed.
"The retail experience at The Collection will be second to none," said Philip Evans, director of Retail Leasing, Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate.
"The strategic tenant mix will bring together the most influential and acclaimed names in fashion and hospitality. In line with our vision to deliver excellence we will be seeking new and vibrant retailers to add to this strong mix."
Dubai Festival City is a 1,300-acre mixed use urban community stretching 3km along Dubai Creek developed and operated by Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate.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.
Why is Festival City expanding? The mall has been a disappointment so far. During the week there are no day time customers. The mall's opening was botched with many shops opening more than a year after the "grand opening". I think Festival City is panicking because right up the road the MAF Group will open Mirdif City Centre in late 2009/early 2010. The MAF Group is the most successful mall operator in the UAE. The Mirdif City Centre is right up the road from Festival City. Festival City thinks growing will magically bring them customers....I don't think so. They are growing because retailers are still demanding space, even in unsuccessful malls like Festival City. Festival City is growing to make money!!!
Yes, DFC is my favorite shopping center in whole of Dubai. Yes, it's quiet, but that's why I like it. plus, like everything else MAF does, it will bring the people in eventually. I have more faith in MAF than any other conglomerate. I just like the way they do things.
Sid, Dubai Festival City is not operated by the Majid Al-Futtaim Group. DFC is operated by the other Al-Futtaim family member. You mention DFC is slow. This may be convenient for customers but most of the restaurants and retailers in DFC are performing well below expectations, because the customer traffic is low. Now DFC wants to add more competition. DFC management may say the added competition will bring more customers to the mall. My response would be "Why are customers not visiting your mall right now when we are living in a mall culture?" DFC is one of the weaker malls in Dubai and will probably always be that way.
No doubt MAF is the most sucessful mall operator in the Middle East. Instead of wasting the resouces to cater to the handful of top income bracket, DFC should take a lead and address to the shortage of the housing for the masses. This they can do by providing housing for all its staff and then to its associates and partners. Otherwise the whole DFC will be a ghost town, especially in the present crisis.