Shape of things to come. Dragon City is all set to transform into a massive retail, leisure and entertainment hub with a 6.5 sqftmillion expansion Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI: Dragon Mart, Dubai’s own China Town on the Hatta-Oman road, is all set for a massive 6.5 million square foot expansion comprising 1,100 more shops, Novo Cinemas, two hotels and 1,120 apartments.

Aimed at transforming the place into a massive leisure, retail and entertainment hub renamed Dragon City, the extension will be spread over two phases, the first of which will open later this year.

The 250-room Accor-managed Ibis hotel is getting final touches and construction of a Geant hypermarket is in full swing.

Phase two

The phase two development will be spread across 2.9 million square feet, of which around a million square feet will be leasable. “There will be 500 new shops of predominantly Chinese retailers, Novo cinemas and 4,500 car parking spaces,” said Omar Khoory, Director of Nakheel Retail.

“We are not just adding shops but bringing a lifestyle component to the project,” he said.

Dragon Mart attracts 65,000 people daily. Khoory reckons the numbers will go up to 100,000 in the coming years.

“Recently, there was an extended holiday in Saudi Arabia and our daily footfall shot up to 85,000. Our feasibility study also shows people from outside the UAE make up 30 per cent of our daily footfall. Bearing this in mind, we are building hotels around the place so that people could stay here and have an enhanced shopping experience,” he said.

Two residential towers comprising 1,120 apartments, two 250-room hotels and 1.3 million square feet of leasable space are planned under phase 3.

“There will be a showroom style building complex for furniture dealers and the residential towers will have mid-to-high end apartments,” said Khoory.