Dubai: While it goes full-throttle with the entertainment options, City of Arabia will also be fleshing out its retail offerings under the Mall of Arabia mantle. A senior official confirmed there were never any plans to let go of the retail component.
“Dubai needs more malls and at the end of it the mall was the flagship of the project or the footfall driver,” said Adam Alexander Page of the IMG Group. “In today’s time, however, the themed entertainment facility will become a footfall driver for the mall.
“There are a few small retailers who feel we need to scale down on the mall size, but most of them want us to go as planned and even bigger.
“The retailers know the pulse of the market and with the feedback we received they want us to make the mall massive. The new design will integrate the mall within the themed entertainment facility.”
According to Craig Plumb at Jones Lang LaSalle, Dubai’s developers can cast their eyes over a wide geography to learn how to build entertainment options to scale and make it work.
“These include Hollywood based theme parks in California, Paris and Hong Kong, theme park based tourism on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, and of course many marina, golf course and ski resorts around the world,” said Plumb.
“The major issue facing many such projects is that the central entertainment anchor may not be financially viable in its own right. This necessitates the need to include other, higher revenue generating components within the project. The clearest example of this in the Dubai context would be the many golf course projects that are only financially viable as a result of the surrounding residential development.
“Creating mixed use communities around the central entertainment anchor is therefore a logical approach and one that we are likely to see more of as Dubai seeks to further extend the entertainment options it provides to a local, regional and increasingly global audience.”