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Sun 6 May 2012 01:05 PM

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MAF's Mall of the Emirates to open 20 new stores

New brands at retail centre include high-end fashion labels Prada and Longchamps

MAF's Mall of the Emirates to open 20 new stores

Mall operator Majid Al Futtaim today announced that it plans to open 20 additional outlets at its Mall of the Emirates centre before the end of the year.

New stores at the Dubai-based mall - which is home to the world's largest indoor ski slope - include high-end designer brands Prada, Longchamps and Kate Spade, which are all set to open in summer.

Eateries including International House of Pancakes, The Cheesecake Factory and the UAE-based fast food outlet Just Falafel will also open at the centre.

“Retail stores and restaurants seeking to expand throughout the world are often choosing the UAE to open their first Middle East location, based on the growing demands for high-fashion and choice across shopping and dining sectors, said Fuad Sharaf, senior asset director, asset management, shopping malls, at MAF.

“Mall of the Emirates is boosting the UAE’s retail landscape by offering international brands with a platform for growth,” he added.

Last month, the company revealed plans to increase rents for retailers this year, as revenues at the shopping hub continue to rise.

Executives at Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Properties told Arabian Business that rates would go up in 2012 after the mall, home of Ski Dubai, reported a 16 percent rise in sales in Q1.

“Yes, [rents will increase in 2012] because our first quarter of this year is already up 16 percent in sales so that will translate into improved returns for retailers,” Peter Walichnowski, CEO of MAF Properties said.

“We have never dropped rents. Rents are a function of turnover and our turnover is going up. The retailers are always happy to pay more rent if the turnover is going up. In Dubai, our retailers are very happy; we have waiting lists on all our malls, so there is no shortage of retailers wanting to get in.”

Walichnowski added that the company would also boost rates at its Deira City Centre and Mirdif City Centre properties, which he claimed were proving similarly popular with local and international brands.

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