By Andy Sambidge
Senior Mall of the Emirates official reveals impact of rail network on footfall.
Mall of the Emirates has no plans to increase retail unit rents despite seeing footfall rise since the opening of the Dubai Metro, a senior official has said.
Fuad Sharaf, vice president of Mall of the Emirates, said there had been an increase in the number of customers at Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Center since the metro began operating in September.
But in comments published by Khaleej Times on Wednesday, he pledged that rents for retail operators in the malls would not be going up as a result.
“It is not sufficient enough to start making estimates based on one month of the metro’s operation – we need to be reassured that this is not a phase and numbers will continue to increase,” Sharaf told the paper.
He said that even retailers whose contracts are to expire in the coming few months will not be subjected to an extra payment based on the installation of the metro.
In June, research firm CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) said rents for retailers in Dubai fell 10 percent in the first quarter of the year.
Prime rents fell by over 10 percent in several markets in the quarter, including Athens, Dubai, Barcelona and Dublin.
Let's understand the wording. The Vice President of MOE states "...will not be subjected to an extra payment based on the installation of the Metro." But, an extra payment (rental increase!) could be based on other reasons, correct? The statement does not say there will be no rental increases whatsoever only that there will be no increases "based on the installation of the Metro". MOE can (and will) come up with other reasons for increasing the rent.