One of the UAE’s biggest malls is to undergo a Dh1 billion expansion.
The revamp of Mall of the Emirates, called Evolution 2015, will create a new fashion district, luxury retail and sports and leisure area, as well as bring new restaurants and the expansion of Vox Cinema.
The project is the largest redevelopment at Mall of the Emirates to date.
By the time it is completed in 2015, a quarter of the mall will be new for shoppers, with debut brands or transformations by existing retailers.
Phase one of the project, to create a Dh100 million, 5,000 square metre fashion district in the east wing of the first floor, is already under way.
The area, which will be unveiled early next year, will feature more than 30 brands and several cafes, mixing existing brands with new stores to refresh the collection on offer.
“Evolution 2015 is Mall of the Emirates’ most ambitious project to date with a total investment of Dh1 billion. The onset of phase one, which will create a unique fashion and lifestyle destination, will complement our existing luxury and mid-market fashion offer,” said Dimitri Vazelakis, executive managing director of shopping malls for Majid Al Futtaim Properties.
“The new fashion district will support the Emirates’ wider aspirations towards Dubai Fashion 2020 and will define a new meeting point for our visitors, positioning Mall of the Emirates at the forefront of the region’s fashion retail industry.”
Just less than half of the mall’s stores, about 250 stores, are now dedicated to fashion. Last year about the same percentage of the mall’s sales came from fashion.
In 2010, an expansion project at the mall created the Fashion Dome, a 10,500 sq metre precinct dedicated to more than 80 luxury brands and upmarket dining.
Mall of the Emirates is the UAE’s second biggest shopping centre, behind The Dubai Mall, but with the opening of Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi next March it will be relegated to third place.
It will, however, likely remain one of the world’s most profitable shopping centres. Last October, the mall was ranked seventh in a list of the world’s 15 most productive malls in a survey by the International Council of Shopping Centres.
It was found to be almost three times more profitable than the industry average, earning more than US$1,400 per sq foot and was the only Middle East mall to make the index.