The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination by global property developer Emaar Properties PJSC, has set a new global milestone welcoming 65 million visitors in 2012, an increase of more than 20% compared to the 54 million visitors hosted by the mall in 2011.
Retail sales across the various outlets in the mall also have reported robust growth of 24% over 2011.
Underlining its credentials as the world’s most visited shopping and leisure destination, The Dubai Mall surpasses, by far, the annual visitor numbers to all leading shopping malls and leisure attractions in the world, highlighting Dubai’s eminent position as a global retail, tourism and business hub. The visitor profile of the mall comprises UAE residents, a cosmopolitan population of over 200 nationalities, and also reflects the tourism demographics of Dubai, with guests arriving from all over the world.
Attracting more number of visitors than the annual tourists to New York City at over 52 million and Los Angeles at 41 million in 2012, The Dubai Mall is today a must-visit destination in Dubai’s tourist itinerary, and the most-compelling getaway for retail enthusiasts and leisure seekers. The mall’s central location, only a four-hour flying distance away for a population of over 2.5 billion, makes it the world’s busiest fashion, retail and leisure hub, offering a wealth of choices for all visitors.
Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said, “The impressive growth achieved by The Dubai Mall is testament to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to further energise the core sectors of the economy including retail, which contributes significantly to the Emirate’s GDP. We are thankful to him for his continued guidance and support.”
“The visitor footfall to The Dubai Mall has exceeded our expectations every year since its opening in 2008, and in 2012, we marked another landmark by welcoming 65 million visitors. This is complemented by the growth in retail sales of 24% compared to 2011. These figures are a clear testament to the the mall’s evolution as the city’s must-visit tourist and retail hub. Significantly, the strong footfall also reiterates the economic impact of our flagship mall development by creating several thousand new jobs every year and supporting the trade and logistics sector of Dubai, which are key contributors to the economy,” he added.
Alabbar added, “The mall’s record visitor arrival has also been the result of the sustained value addition that we are focused on creating for our guests. Apart from the choice of global brands and the extensive repertoire of over 1,200 outlets, the mall’s leisure attractions are unique and serve as a magnet for tourists. We have also further strengthened accessibility by creating new parking spaces and completing the Metro Link which connects the Dubai Metro station to the mall. The Dubai Mall has clearly set a global benchmark in mall and leisure operations, and we are building on it further with the new expansion programme across 1 million sq feet.”
The Dubai Mall’s new expansion will feature an unprecedented choice of world-class retail, and hospitality components, taking its total construction area to over 13 million sq ft. The highlight of the mall’s retail expansion is the creation of a spectacularly designed boulevard like high-end shopping strip that will feature personalised flagship stores of international brands. Shoppers can experience the unparalleled ambience of strolling along foliage-rich walkways with water features, set on a strip lined by premium stores.
Centrally located in Downtown Dubai, the most prestigious square kilometre on earth and the flagship mega-development of Emaar Properties, The Dubai Mall also serves as the gateway to At the Top, Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest observatory deck with an outdoor terrace. The mall is fronted by the Burj Lake that is home to The Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest performing fountain, which performs an array of international compositions.
Within the mall, the 1,200 retail outlets meet all shopping requirements of visitors – from fashion wear to accessories, electronic appliances to home furnishing, the latest communication gadgets to audio-visual choices, books, jewellery and much more. Several international brands have debuted or opened their flagship stores in the mall, with the regions’ first Bloomingdale’s and Galeries Lafayette serving as anchor stores. Last year, many new international retail concepts were added to the mall.
In 2012, the mall not only strengthened the offering of its dedicated fashion precinct, the 440,000 sq ft Fashion Avenue, but also introduced The Souk, an elegantly designed showcase of jewellery, accessories and traditional Arab attire outlets and handcraft stores. The Dubai Mall also unveiled The Village that offers a rich collection of denim brands and brings an outdoor community feel with tree-lined walkways, cafés and restaurants. Featuring a fully retractable roof, The Village is open during winter months enabling visitors to have a true outdoor feel.
The mall hosted several celebrities last year from the film, art and music world, in addition to hosting international exhibitions and roadshows, all strengthening its appeal to visitors. In addition to the 200 F&B outlets that bring together families and friends, the mall’s world-class leisure attractions including Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, with thousands of aquatic animals; SEGA Republic, the largest of its kind indoor theme park; KidZania, the dedicated children’s city; Dubai Ice Rink, an Olympic sized ice rink; and the 22-screen Reel Cinemas that can seat over 2,800 people, all attracted the world to Dubai.
Described as ‘The Centre of Now,’ the $20bn Downtown Dubai features Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, several world-class hotels, thousands of residential apartments and modern offices, among others. It was in global spotlight hosting the New Year’s Eve Gala which attracted a record 1.7 million visitors and was telecast live to over 2 billion people.