Dubai: Jewellery retailers at The Dubai Mall have got themselves some welcome relief - they will not have to vacate their premises by early December. In fact, they can continue operating their existing outlets for the foreseeable future, according to sources.
There are more than 120 jewellers represented at the Mall.
“This has been intimated to individual retailers by the mall management (Emaar) in recent days and it will be welcomed by all jewellers,” said one source. “There had been regular meetings with the management where we stated our case… and it’s good to know this has been heard.”
It was early this year that the mall management served notices to these retailers, and giving them an early December deadline to vacate. The Mall currently hosts some of the biggest names in the local and regional jewellery business, plus, of course, international brands.
Gold jewellery retailers say that the timing of the move out would have been extremely difficult. “It meant having to vacate a high-traffic destination just ahead of the next Dubai Shopping Festival,” the source said. “Plus, 2020 being the year of the Expo launch, the gold retailers needed to have access to such a location.
“But at the time, despite repeated approaches, the management did not take these into consideration. But now, we are secure of a presence there for DSF 2020 and beyond. It’s a great boost for the trade.”
The reasons for the Mall management’s earlier decision to vacate the gold jewellers is not known. Emaar has for now not issued any official comments on whether it plans to retain these retailers, and if so, for how long.
In between, some of the jewellery retailers had approached local courts to see if they could get an extension/stop on the Emaar order. But sources say that the courts went in favour of Emaar’s rights on what it wanted to do at its mall.
Targeting the luxury buyer
Unlike in the Deira Gold Souq and at their shops on the high-streets, jewellers in The Dubai Mall stock premium merchandise such as diamond-encrusted designer pieces. “There’s not any of the 22K that you see at the Souq - that’s because of the nature of the buyer profile who come to malls,” said one industry source. “But many of the jewellers do stock 18K, which is popular with toursists and with a younger shopper. But typical 22K shoppers do not come to malls to pick up their choices.”
Industry sources were not willing to estimate how much of the trade’s overall sales are contributed by The Dubai Mall. But the destination takes in more than 80 million visitors annually, and that is an audience jewellers do not want to miss out on. Plus, if jewellers want to connect with a younger buyer profile, they need to be at the malls to show off collections done with them in mind.
Update - Emaar says status quo to continue
In a statement, Emaar put to rest all concerns of their jewellery tenants.
Retailers at "The Souq in The Dubai Mall will continue to operate their outlets as usual," the statement said. "While our initial plan was to revamp the premises, based on the feedback of tenants, who expressed the desire to continue operations to benefit from year-end sales, we will now undertake enhancements (at The Souq) as against a total revamp.
"We are committed to creating value to our tenants and work in tandem to ensure the best interests are met."