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Dubai’s Ever Evolving Retail Sector Spurs Dubai Festival City Mall Re-Development
(23 August 2014)


The mall is owned by the Al Futtaim Group, a Strategic Partner of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and the organisers of DSS.   

Since 1996, Al Futtaim has enjoyed a special relationship with DFRE and this was further enhanced after the launch of Dubai Festival City Projects such as the Dubai Festival City Mall and the Festival Promenade. Today, as a Strategic Partner, it continues to play a major role in attracting shoppers from all over the world to the annual summer extravaganza with its diverse retail offerings and promotions.

Speaking to DFRE’s Media Centre about the group’s continuous association with the DFRE and DSS, its future plans and expansion,  Murray Bell, Managing Director, Retail, Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate, observed that  DFRE has brought to Dubai Festival City Mall highly engaging world-class events that are meant to attract parents and their children. This year during DSS,  DFRE has brought to the mall internationally renowned events like Dexter’s Laboratory and hosted the crowd-pulling Modhesh Summer Fashion. In turn, Dubai Festival City Mall also benefited  from DFRE’s initiatives like DSS, as it leads to a significant increase in footfall and sales at its retail outlets, he said.

Further, Dubai’s ever evolving retail sector required a continuous enhancement of offerings, and many leading regional retailers have endorsed the re-development scheme at Dubai Festival City Mall by bringing many of their flagship international brands to the mall, Mr. Bell added.

Following are excerpts from the interview:

 Dubai Festival City Mall

1-How many years have you been partnering with DFRE?

Dubai Festival City Mall has partnered with DFRE ever since the mall was completed in 2006. Since then, we have been offering our customers extremely attractive deals from retailers as well as the most engaging live shows and activities, and promise many exciting surprises for our customers during Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises in the upcoming years.  We invite all residents and tourists to visit our mall and enjoy one of the UAE’s most appealing shopping experiences.

 2-How do the DFRE festivals impact the sales of the shops?

We believe in the vision of the Dubai Government and its festivals establishment DFRE which offers residents and visitors two of the most iconic festivals in the region, the Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises. These two signature events have attracted a significant amount of visitors to our mall every year which impacted the sales of shops at the mall significantly.

 3-In your opinion, how did DFRE festivals evolve over the years in general and DSS in particular?

DSS has been one of the UAE’s most successful festivals which evolved positively over the years by presenting UAE residents with amazing events programs throughout all the leading shopping malls in Dubai. Through its highly appealing and creative approach, DFRE has earned a reputation of hosting the region’s most iconic festivals which attract visitors every year from all over the UAE and the region.

 4-What mall initiatives, activities and promotions have you planned this DSS to increase footfall?

This DSS we introduced the most attractive ‘Spend and Win’ promotion to date which will provide five lucky families with a one-of-a-kind chance to experience the magical world of Disney on a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise packed with exciting entertainment programmes. So far, this has attracted visitors from around the country and increased footfall significantly.

 The mall also planned a month long entertainment programme for the whole family, including ‘Modhesh Summer Fashion’, live performances from the hit cartoon ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’, and the extremely popular Meet the Nicktoons.

 5-How do you view DSS this year?

Without a doubt, DSS 2014 has been the UAE’s most successful event this summer. This year’s episode of the festival is offering an extremely attractive programme that features exciting activities which are spread out all over the leading shopping malls in Dubai.

DFRE has brought to Dubai Festival City Mall highly engaging events that are meant to attract parents and their children and drive significant footfall to Dubai Festival City Mall. 

 6-Who are your target audiences, and how do you manage to attract them during DSS?

We target families and children of all ages through our ongoing activities and highly diversified tenant mix.

 7-What are the best performing store categories during DSS?

The best performing stores at Dubai Festival City Mall are in the fashion, apparel, and homeware categories.

 8-What are your future plans? Any plans for expansion or opening flagship ship stores, new brands, unique concepts, etc?

Dubai Festival City Mall is currently undergoing exciting changes as part of its strategy to continuously enhance the mall and provide UAE residents with memorable experiences.  Many leading regional retailers have endorsed our re-development scheme which started last year by bringing many of their flagship international brands to Dubai Festival City Mall. These include Landmark group which recently inaugurated three of the company’s flagship brands, Centrepoint, Emax and Max, and Alshaya Group that will be introducing its iconic brand H&M soon.

 9-With all the future projects lined ahead, do you think Dubai in general can accommodate more malls, brands, etc? How do you envision the future of retail? 

Dubai is always evolving, so is the retail sector, which is the reason why a continuous enhancement of offerings is needed.

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