Al Ghurair Centre to receive $16mn refurbishment
Organisers trying to bring a bit of London's Covent Garden to Dubai
Dubai’s Al Ghurair Centre is to invest AED60mn ($16mn) renovating the mall, just months after it completed a AED2bn ($544mn) expansion.
“We’re trying to create a little bit of Covent Garden here in Dubai, something that no other shopping mall in the city can achieve,” said David Thurling, VP of the Al Ghurair Centre.
“The mall landscape in this country, and globally, is pretty formulaic. We recognise that we are basically another shopping mall in a place where there’s a shopping mall at every corner, so we want to challenge the accepted model by capitalising on the unique city buzz of Deira. In our opinion Al Ghurair Centre is the soul of the city.
“We’re not the newest or the biggest mall, but we’re distinctly urban in that most of our customers actually walk to the mall from nearby neighbourhoods. We’re a community mall: we want to embrace the urban streetscape and be part of a bigger downtown area. We want to make the street the hero,” he added.
The renovation of the original part of the mall will include an 80,000ft2 Carrefour hypermarket, over 50 new retail brands and an extensive selection of street-based restaurants set to open for business by the first quarter of 2015.
“This revamp and last year’s expansion are all part of our aim to establish Al Ghurair Centre as an urban village square. By expanding the dining precinct and introducing new restaurants with outdoor seating we are creating a platform where shoppers can have front row views of our street-based events,” Thurling said.
Built in 1981, Al Ghurair Centre's overhaul last year doubled the size of the retail area to more than 350 brands, rivaling competing malls Deira City Centre and Mirdiff City Centre.