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Sat 31 Dec 2011 09:57 AM

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Nakheel leases 35% of Dragon Mart extension

Dubai real estate firm says it has leased one million sq ft of retail space in five days

Nakheel leases 35% of Dragon Mart extension
Dragon Mart in Dubai is the largest trading centre for Chinese products outside mainland China

Nakheel, the developer of man-made islands off Dubai’s coast, has leased 35 percent of retail space at its extension in its Dragon Mart Mall, the firm has said.

The Dubai-based firm, which is expanding its China-themed mall, said it had leased more than one million sq ft in just five days.

“The booking started on the 25th of this month, where it has experienced a huge demand from the tenants and the management has booked 35 percent of the total letable area more than one million sq ft,” the firm said in a statement.

Nakheel in August said it planned to more than double the size of the Dragon Mart Mall, which at 1.2km long already makes it the largest trading centre for Chinese products outside mainland China.

The firm said it had appointed contractor Dar Al-handasah to design and oversee the addition of 1.7 million sq ft of retail space and 5,000 parking spaces at the mall.

The majority of the construction packages are currently in tender process, Nakheel said on Wednesday. 

Bids for the construction of the multistory car park, which is set to take nine months to complete, were opened December 25 and are currently under technical and commercial evaluation, said Nakheel.

Bids for the construction of the shopping mall, set over two levels, will open Jan 15 while the tender for the external plaza, which will serve as a link between the two malls, is due to be issued shortly, it added.

Nakheel told Arabian Business in May that footfall at the Dragon Mart increased 84 percent in 2010 compared to the same period the year earlier.

The developer was one of the biggest casualties of Dubai’s real estate crash, suspending at least 100 projects in the wake of a property collapse that more than halved house prices in the emirate.

The firm was forced to write down AED78.6bn ($21.4bn) from the value of its real estate and complete a $16bn debt restructuring as property prices in Dubai collapsed.

The architect behind Dubai’s palm-shaped island on Dec 5 said it had booked profit of AED526m ($143m) in the six months to June, driven by the handover of real estate project stalled in the downturn.

The company gave no comparative data for 2010.

“Revenues.....were mainly driven by the handover of development properties in a number of Nakheel projects. Other business segments including retail and leasing also contributed positively to the results,” the company said in an emailed statement.

“The financial results of Nakheel are also indicative of a relatively more stable real estate market in Dubai.”

Revenues stood at AED1.5bn, mainly driven by the handover of development properties in a number of stalled Nakheel projects. Cost cuts also reduced overheads by AED 131m compared to the same period in 2010, the company said.

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