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Tue 28 Jul 2009 08:10 AM

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Small malls consider shuttle service to attract shoppers

Smaller mall owners fear the impact the Dubai Metro will have on visitor numbers.

Owners of some smaller malls in Dubai fear they will lose business when the metro opens as shoppers choose to visit those nearer stations.

A report in the National said that some owners are even considering running shuttle buses from metro stops in a bid to prevent footfalls and profits dropping.

“Indirectly, yes, it’s going to affect us because people will just be taken off to places like the Mall of the Emirates,” Parvinder Singh, manager of the Chill Out and Just Orient restaurants in Times Square Centre on Sheikh Zayed Road, told the paper.

The shopping centre is found almost in the middle of two stops and too far to walk in the summer heat.

Pukar Khadka, an administrator at Times Square Centre, told the paper the mall was attracting about 5,000 customers a day during the week and 6,000 on weekends.

“There’s definitely going to be an impact on the malls that don’t have a Metro station,” he said adding that the mall was in talks with companies about running a shuttle bus service.

Mercato mall’s corporate communications manager Rana Jaser told the paper the opening of the metro would not have much of an effect on their number of shoppers.

“The primary target market for Mercato is really the residents living in our catchment area, namely Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, Al Sufouh and Sheikh Zayed Road areas.

“Furthermore, our shoppers generally fall in a higher-income bracket and enjoy private transportation, so for this reason we also receive many visitors from all over Dubai as well as other emirates.”

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