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Al Ghurair Centre To Open AED 2 Billion Expansion
(19 February 2013)
Dubai’s first shopping mall is to almost double in size, bringing 150 new stores and food outlets, in addition to a hotel, a serviced-apartments tower and an office tower


 

Al Ghurair Centre in Dubai is to complete a AED 2 billion expansion this summer, adding an array of new shops and a world-class entertainment zone to the existing mall.

The Deira-based shopping centre, which was the first of its kind to open in Dubai more than three decades ago, will almost double its retail area with 150 additional stores and food outlets, refurbished cinemas, and a large entertainment zone featuring an indoor rollercoaster and ice rink.

The expansion is opening in stages. A five-star hotel and a luxury serviced-apartments tower opened in December. The remaining retail and entertainment zone expansion is set to open for trade in mid-2013.

Ibrahim Al Ghurair, Managing Director of Al Ghurair Properties, described the mall expansion as a “vital component” in the ongoing development of a “revitalised” Deira area.

“We are confident that the expanded Al Ghurair Centre will be a hit with both residents and visitors and are very excited to be contributing to the Dubai Government’s exciting vision for old Dubai.”

“With the expansion, we aim to benefit from the ongoing potential in this vitally important area, as well as contribute to its future development,” Mr Al Ghurair added.

The Al Ghurair Centre became the first modern shopping mall of its kind in the Middle East when it opened in 1981, setting the UAE on a path to becoming a global shopping destination.

Considered a pioneer in its field, the mall currently boasts a retail area of 480,000 sq ft, comprising 200 stores, 20 F&B outlets, and an eight-screen cinema run by Grand Cinemas.

Before embarking on the expansion plan, Al Ghurair Properties commissioned a consultant to provide a comprehensive feasibility study that included independent market research.

After establishing a need for an expanded mixed-use development, it hired the UAE-based civil engineering company Ascon as project contractor and Turner International as project manager. The global design practice RTKL Associates Inc won the architectural contract.

Scheduled to open in mid-2013, the shopping mall expansion will boast an additional 375,000 sq ft of gross leasable retail space with 150 new stores, taking the total number to 350 stores and 855,000 sq ft of gross leasable area.

David Thurling, recently appointed as Vice President - Mall at Al Ghurair Centre, said: “The full retail expansion will open in mid-2013 to coincide with the busy Eid shopping period when footfall in the existing mall typically increases 15-20 per cent.

“Deira remains a key economic and commercial hub with multiple tourist attractions, a high population density, and almost 80 per cent of Dubai’s hotels and hotel apartments. Although Dubai’s retail market is increasingly competitive, we feel that there remains a huge opportunity considering that the retail potential of Al Ghurair Centre’s primary trade area exceeds AED 12 billion.”

Family entertainment will come in the form of Sparky’s – the premium entertainment brand owned and operated by the Saudi-company Al Hokair Group. Highlights of the nature and technology-themed zone will include an ice rink, a climbing wall, bumper cars, a 5D cinema and a rollercoaster.

The hotel management company Rotana kicked off the expansion in December with the opening of the Al Ghurair Rayhaan five-star hotel and the Al Ghurair Arjaan serviced apartments – bringing 428 hotel rooms and 192 apartments on stream. A new office tower completed the business and hospitality mix.

For more information on the mall expansion, visit www.alghuraircentre.com

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