By Sarah Townsend
Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group said stalled mega mall project to be revived within decade
The developer of the stalled Mall of Arabia shopping mall in Dubai has insisted the scheme is still in the pipeline and is likely to complete within the next decade.
Mohammed Adnaan, group chief financial officer of Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group (IMG), told reporters on Sunday that the group was still committed to the circa $5 billion scheme, originally scheduled for completion by the end of 2010 but dormant to date.
Adnaan said work would recommence on the scheme within the next 10 years. He said: “In the next three, five, seven, 10 years, you are likely to see Mall of Arabia coming out of the ground.”
He was speaking at a press conference to unveil the planned opening date of the group’s latest project, IMG Worlds of Adventure, an entertainment park set to be the UAE’s first and only fully indoor theme park.
Mall of Arabia, which was to be built just off the Mohammed bin Zayed Road, close to IMG Worlds of Adventure, was touted to be the biggest shopping mall in the world when the scheme was first unveiled to the public in 2008. At the time it was to rival the Dubai Mall, which opened the same year.
It was expected to have a gross leasable area of four million square feet in phase 1, as well as more than 1,000 retail outlets and a rooftop hotel.
However, the mall was delayed in the wake of the global financial crisis which forced many real estate developers in the emirates to retreat.
Adnaan told reporters there was no planned construction schedule for Mall of Arabia. “Our focus is on [IMG Worlds of Entertainment],” he said.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.
â€œIn the next three, five, seven, 10 years, you are likely to see Mall of Arabia coming out of the ground.â€
"Adnaan told reporters there was no planned construction schedule for Mall of Arabia."
In other words, he has no clue what he's talking about.
I seriously doubt that it will ever happen, the whole shopping dynamic in the emirate has changed so much in the interim period, that MoA has really missed the retail boat.
Also it was originally to be interconnected with the Restless Planet Jurassic period entertainment piece, which was a brilliant concept but massively ambitious in terms of the technology involved, which would have set it apart as something special.
But remember this was a project that was hyperactively high profile back in late 2006/2007/H-1 2008 and now we're 8 years later and no further forward. The public simply lose interest, especially given the PR statements from the principal along the lines of those quoted.
Perhaps the long-delayed City of Arabia project is still "in the pipeline" also? Are the hapless investors still waiting?