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Dubai Festival City mall to get 'major' revamp

Project to include large structural alterations over next two years

Dubai Festival City mall is to get a major revamp over the next two years in a bid to boost the number of shoppers, the group director of Al Futtaim r
Dubai Festival City mall is to get a major revamp over the next two years in a bid to boost the number of shoppers, the group director of Al Futtaim r

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Dubai Festival City mall is to get a major revamp over the next two years in a bid to boost the number of shoppers, the group director of Al Futtaim real estate has said.

The waterfront centre will feature more entertainment aspects and a mix of new retail brands, as well as large structural alterations to enhance sections of the mall with low occupancy rates, Vishesh Bhatia said.

“The mall is about five years old, it needs a refresh,” he told CW’s sister title Arabian Business.

“In the next six months, you will see substantial activity in this direction. It will be phased, so some things will be done immediately – small things like improving lighting and navigation around the mall – and then there are the more structural [changes], which will take a bit longer.

“It will probably take us 24 months before we finish the whole thing. Part of our mall is less occupied than it should be, so we’re also talking to some new retailers to see if they would be interested to come here.”

He declined to specify how much would be spent on the upgrade, but said the investment would be significant.

“There are plans to do exciting things here; this is a major refresh. The group is prepared to invest. It will not be insubstantial. You can’t just refresh by spending AED1m.”

Recently, some industry experts have observed that Dubai’s retail sector is evolving into a two-tier market as competition heats up.

The emirate, dubbed the Gulf’s shopping hub, is now home to about 40 malls, according to estimates by Standard Chartered. More than 1m square metres of shopping space has been added to the market since 2006.
 

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