Dubai's popular shopping destination Mall of the Emirates has announced a multi-stage redevelopment project worth an estimated Dh1 billion ($274 million).
"Evolution 2015 is Mall of the Emirates' most ambitious project to-date with a total investment of Dh1 billion," said Dimitri Vazelakis – Executive Managing Director – Shopping Malls for Majid Al Futtaim Properties, MoE's parent firm.
In a media statement today, MAF said the project will reveal a series of new shopping, dining and entertainment concepts, and has already started on phase one – a new, Dh100 million district dedicated to contemporary fashion, it noted. Featuring more than 30 international brands, the new fashion district will be revealed to the public in early 2014.
"The onset of phase one, which will create a unique fashion and lifestyle destination, will complement our existing luxury and mid-market fashion offer," added Vazelakis.
"The new fashion district will support the emirates' wider aspirations towards Dubai Fashion 2020, and will define a new meeting point for our visitors, positioning Mall of the Emirates at the forefront of the region's fashion retail industry."
Mall of the Emirates' announcement lends further support to CBRE's retail report which stated that 'mid-range' fashion retailers entered more new markets than any other sector last year, accounting for 22 per cent of all new openings, followed by 'Luxury and Business Fashion' retailers at 20 per cent.
Currently, more than 45 per cent, or 250 of Mall of the Emirates' 560-plus stores, are dedicated to fashion, creating an attractive platform for some of the world's most sought-after brands.
In 2010, Mall of the Emirates underwent an expansion to launch the Fashion Dome, a 10,500 sqm precinct dedicated to more than 80 luxury brands and up-market dining. In 2012, 44 per cent of the mall's total sales came from the fashion category, demonstrating the strength of the fashion retail market in the UAE.
When the transformation of Mall of the Emirates is complete, one quarter of the region's best-loved shopping destination will be completely new to shoppers, including brands making their UAE debut alongside existing retailers embarking on a total remerchandising transformation of their brands.