Dubai: Majid Al Futtaim has said it will invest Dh377 million in renovating over 30 per cent of City Centre Deira, which opened over 20 years ago, in an effort to modernise the mall and attract new tenant and customers.
The Dubai-based retail and real estate giant will redesign parts of the mall to optimise the flow of shoppers, relocating a number of key brands for easier access and introducing escalators to the second floor. The shopping centre itself will not grow in size.
A new food hall concept will also be introduced to the mall, which Majid Al Futtaim has said will feature homegrown restaurants, live cooking stations and deli counters.
This is a new investment we’re making in City Centre Deira, mainly focused on remerchandising and bringing new tenants to the centre within the existing gross leasable area.
Set to be completed in the first half of 2020, the work on redeveloping the mall will begin immediately, according to Fuad Mansoor Sharaf, managing director for Majid Al Futtaim Properties — Shopping Malls in the UAE, Bahrain and Oman.
“This is a new investment we’re making in City Centre Deira, mainly focused on remerchandising and bringing new tenants to the centre within the existing gross leasable area,” Sharaf told Gulf News in an interview.
He declined to say how Majid Al Futtaim would finance the renovation, but added that the company was looking at plans to redevelop all of its existing malls.
“This is the plan for all the malls, we want to make sure the malls are always relevant to our customers … so we have plans for each centre, and now is the time for City Centre Deira,” Sharaf said.
“We believe these investments have a good return.”
As part of the redevelopment project, the mall will introduce 25 new homeware and fashion brands, and 20 new food and beverage (F&B) concepts.
“I think at this stage we want to keep [the brands] as a surprise,” he added. “But whatever we get in to the mall will be based on feedback, statistics, and studies we’ve done to meet customer expectations.”
Sharaf declined to say if this would include any brands that were new to Dubai.
A statement from the company did, however, say that “City Centre Deira will be addressing the demand for big-box homeware stores by [introducing] new contemporary and affordable furnishing and interior-styling brands,” in addition to popular lifestyle brands.
As for improvements to the mall’s internal transport systems, the executive said that based on feedback, Majid Al Futtaim was trying to help customers move around more easily.
“Vertical transportation does already exist in the mall, but we’re going to have more escalators just to make sure that our customers’ journeys are easy, faster, and smoother to move around the mall up and down.”
Sharaf said that disruption to the mall’s operations as a result of the redevelopment would be minimal.