The total spending at shopping malls last summer exceeded Dh1 billion, according to the Dubai Shopping Malls Group, which represents more than 30 malls in the emirate.
Many of these malls have become destinations in themselves, with attractions ranging from indoor entertainment complexes, food courts, play areas, clustered retail areas, attached hotels, cinema complexes, coffee shops, indoor ski facilities to a large aquarium.
A mall can now cater to a family from morning until late at night. Shopping is part of this.
“Malls in Dubai have become destinations and mall-based entertainment and associated activities are one of the key attractions,” said Majid Al Ghurair, Dubai Shopping Malls Group chairman.
“All through summer, shopping malls will be transformed into venues for live entertainment, competitions, workshops and other interactive programmes,” he said. “The annual summer event … is a great example of how the private sector and government can work together …”
Although many people believe Dubai is over-retailed with one of the highest number of retail outlets per capita, officials say this reinforces the emirate’s position as a preferred shopping destination.
“Dubai is not over-retailed as it is made out to be; yes, the city’s gross leasable area is the highest in the region but this is the dynamic nature of Dubai and we are pooling our efforts to ensure that the offers put out this summer will be unmatched by any other retail destination,” said Laila Suhail, CEO of the Dubai Shopping Festival Office.
From next week, Dubai’s malls will be abuzz with activities for the summer.
“Dubai’s position as the fourth-most dominant retail city in the world is the result of concerted efforts on the part of the retail sector and events such as the Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises to offer value-added promotions on leading international brands. It must be noted that we achieved this in a short span of time, unlike other seasoned retail destinations that have been retailing for decades,” said Suhail.