Work has started on a project to revamp one of Dubai's oldest shopping malls and expand the mix of entertainment and retail outlets on offer.
The luxury mall BurJuman will add a Carrefour hypermarket and a 14-screen Vox Cinema as part of the redevelopment, which also include doubling the food court's size.
Construction began on Tuesday and is set to take 18 months.
"The latest redevelopment and expansion phase is expected to further enhance our appeal by offering shoppers greater convenience and access to a full-fledged grocery offering, extended family entertainment options, new F&B [food and beverage] outlets and the addition of several new fashion and other brands to our retail portfolio, some of which will be making their first appearance in the region," said Eisa Adam Ibrahim, the general manager of BurJuman.
"Visitors not only look at malls as places to shop but as one-stop destinations providing enjoyment and recreation to the entire community. With our expansion we want to strengthen our relationship with our customers and give them easy access to everything they need in one place."
Plans for the redevelopment took time to finalise to ensure that the retail offering was "wider and stronger" for shoppers, added Mr Ibrahim. But he is confident that tenants and shoppers will be satisfied with the new mix.
"We will certainly be delivering a better product to our partners and we believe that the enhanced offering will provide a stronger business platform to all our retailers," said Mr Ibrahim. The mall had strong and positive relationships with its retailers, he said, and it had been involved in ongoing discussions with tenants, who had given the project "great support".
Cadiz International Architects has been appointed as the lead architect, while Hyder Consulting will manage the design and supervision of the project, which will mean that the mall expands by a fifth to 1 million square feet.
The renovation includes a link to connect the new food court to the Pavilion Gardens in the mall's south wing, in addition to the redesign of an entrance and the addition of an al-fresco dining area on the ground level.
The mall features a mix of luxury and high-street fashion brands including Saks Fifth Avenue, Prada, Promod and Massimo Dutti.