Dubai: Dragon Mart is getting a face lift from its image as a Chinese mall with a new extension that aims to attract a more international retail mix catering to the needs of the nearby International City community.
Nakheel, the developer of Dragon Mart and master developer of International City, aims to split in half the retail mix of the new mall expansion between international and Chinese brands, said Omar Khoury, Director of Dragon Mart, during a media tour of the construction site.
“We are targeting 50 per cent international and 50 per cent Chinese...we are trying to cover the market needs. There is a huge community with no international brands of food and beverages, they don’t have an offering of hypermarkets,” he said. “It’s not that we don’t want Chinese brands.” About 99 per cent of the existing Dragon Mart is occupied by Chinese retailers.
Phase 2 of Dragon Mart, a 177,000 square metre expansion of the mall, also includes a three-star hotel and multi-storey car park.
The new mall will have a “new presentation” as a mix between a Chinese market, a traditional market and an outlet mall, according to Khoury.
Nakheel has leased 456 stores out of the 570 shops in the extension, or 80 per cent of the available leasable area, Khoury said.
Tenants include a 10,000 square metre Geant hypermarket, Grand Cinemas, McDonald’s, local department store Prima and Chinese department stores Estiman and Gloria Fashion, he said.
Dragon Mart is targeting a leasing rate of Dh400 per square foot annually for the new store leases by the time the extension opens in the first half of 2014, Khoury said.
Lease rates for the new extension at this point range from Dh250 to Dh300 per square foot a year and prices in the existing mall range from Dh200 to Dh550 depending on factors such as location.
The extension will introduce new retail sections, Khoury said. A special zone for wedding accessories and dresses is nearly sold out to tenants and another for dress jewellery and gold and silver jewellery is completely leased, Khoury said.
“It will be a big difference. We will add more retail flavour. The existing mall is targeting wholesale. In the extension, we target retailers and bringing in new brands,” Khoury noted.