Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Work progresses on the extension of Dragon Mart in Dubai. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Work progresses on the extension of Dragon Mart in Dubai. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Dragon Mart's Dubai expansion is a marriage made in heaven

Nakheel says 70 per cent of wedding planners in the UAE buy products from Dragon Mart. As the mall's vast extension nears completion, it plans a section devoted to the big day.

It is enough to make the father of the bride weep.

With average wedding costs running at Dh300,000 (US$81,683) in the Emirates, many newlyweds may be surprised to learn that many of the materials for their big day comes from the bargain-based retail store Dragon Mart.

Nakheel, the developer behind the sprawling Chinese retail complex on the outskirts of Dubai, estimates 70 per cent of all wedding organisers in Dubai buy their accessories and materials there.

As a result, Nakheel plans to include a section devoted to weddings as part of a huge extension currently under way.

Dragon Mart, the world's biggest trading hub for Chinese products outside mainland China, is known for its bathroom fixtures, inexpensive handbags and other wholesale products. Now construction has started on a vast 177,000 square metre extension that will result in the mall more than doubling in size.

More than 1,300 builders are working on the site day and night, with construction of the extension expected to be completed next year.

Omar Khoory, Dragon Mart's director, said yesterday that the developer was hoping to include a wedding section in the new mall that would include wedding dresses as well as the other matrimonial accessories.

"Wedding planners are huge customers at Dragon Mart and we hope to build on that with the new extension. We hope that the new mall will be a mixture of the existing mall and something more like a traditional mall so that we have something for everyone."

When work is completed on the extension, the mall will stretch to a whopping 335,000 sq metres - the size of 47 football pitches. It will include a three-star hotel designed to accommodate traders from around the region.

"There's always something you can buy in Dragon Mart for much cheaper than in the other malls," said Rochelle Malika, a wedding planner at the Dubai company Marriagement. "I can buy packs of organza pouches for Dh15 at Dragon Mart, while if you go to the other malls they charge you 10 times that price".

Nakheel says it has already leased 456 of the 570 stores at the mall extension at rates of Dh250 to Dh300 per sq ft.

The tenant mix will be less focused on Chinese traders, who currently account for 99 per cent of occupiers, said Mr Khoory.

About half of the retail space in the extension will be leased by local and international brands.

Ms Malika also expects the extension to lure more happy couples. "I have some brides who would never go to Dragon Mart and have to buy their dresses from designer stores. But then again I have many brides who are working to a budget and who currently order their dresses online from China.

"The benefit of a Dragon Mart wedding dress section would be that you get the cheap prices but you can try it on and see what looks good," she added.

Of course only time will tell if the extension pulls in the punters at the same rate as the existing mall but if Nakheel's lettings team is to be believed, it could be a match made in heaven.

lbarnard@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Would you like it in blue? An Afghan shopkeeper shows a burqa to a customer at a bazaar in Herat. (Aref Karimi / AFP /  April 13, 2014)

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 24, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 24, 2014.

 That's asking a lot: this four-bedroom duplex penthouse apartment  at Marina Residence in Dubai is for sale with an asking price of Dh15.7 million. (Courtesy Better Homes / April 2014)

In pictures: Palm Jumeirah penthouse listed for Dh15.7 million

A four-bedroom duplex penthouse in Marina Residence 3 on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah is on the market for Dh15.7 million.

 Room with a view from one of the 21 duplex penthouses located in the Gate Towers sky-bridge. The sports courts and swimming pools can be seen below. Courtesy Alda

In pictures: Aldar’s Gate Towers Penthouse Collection on Reem Island

Aldar launched its Gate Towers Penthouse Collection at Cityscape Abu Dhabi. The launch features 21 penthouses spanning the skybridge, with each having a private indoor pool and incredible views.

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National