Dubai: Rentals on Dubai’s high-streets are becoming gilt-edged. For its new showroom, a ground plus four property, in Deira Gold Souq, India’s Meena Jewellers is paying a handsome Dh1 million plus as rental. The ground and three levels have been set aside for the jewellery and one floor will be used for its offices.

The location now commands lease rates of Dh600-Dh700 a square foot on average, putting it on par with those commanded by some of the better malls in Dubai. High-street retailing is certainly not about to go out of fashion in the city.

“Going vertical was the only way we could make an impact in such a high density high-street location; once that decision was made, it gave us the space to experiment with the merchandising, the display, etc.,” said Vinay Jethwani, Managing Partner at Meena Jewellers, which opened its first location, in Dubai’s Meena Bazar, in 1993. “Investment on the Deira property alone came to Dh20 million and we will add another Dh80 million as the value of the merchandise. The first year itself we should see a 30-35 per cent increase in overall volumes because this gives us the visibility we didn’t have earlier.”

It is the second time in as many weeks that a jewellery retailer has gone for a multi-storey facility at the Gold Souq. Malabar Gold was the first.

“Deira Gold Souq has been commanding a clear rental premium with incremental gains,” said Cyriac Varghese, General Manager at Sky Jewellery. “In comparison, a Meena Bazar location would be around Dh350-Dh400 a square foot, while a Bur Dubai or a Karama location would be sub Dh300.

“For jewellery retailers, if they are looking at carrying an extensive inventory, then high-street locations of an average 1,000 square feet are the sole option – there’s no way the economics will balance out if they go in for a similar size at a mall.”