Al-Futtaim Group to open Emirates’ first IKEA ‘destination’ store
The UAE’s Al-Futtaim Group is to open the Emirates’ first IKEA ‘destination’ store at Dubai Festival City, the ’city-within-a-city’ being built on the banks of Dubai Creek.
“This stand-alone store, linked to Dubai Festival City’s Festival Centre retail hub, will serve as a destination in its own right,” said Mile Franicevic, General Manager of IKEA UAE. “It will be the first and biggest of its kind in the UAE.”
With a gross area of 273,405 square feet, the Dubai Festival City IKEA is expected to be a major pull for the waterfront destination’s Festival Centre.
“Other Festival Centre retailers will also benefit from the attraction of this global furnishing giant from Sweden,” said Phil McArthur, Director, Leasing & Marketing, Dubai Festival City.
“A key differentiator for this IKEA is that it will be served by ample car parking both underground and in communal areas serving the Festival Centre, which will have car parking for over 11,000 cars and deliver the highest parking ratio in Dubai.”
The Dubai Festival City IKEA, which is due to open in fall 2005, is over three times the size of the existing IKEA at Deira City Centre.
The ‘destination’ store will carry up to 6,500 products; it will be served by 22 check outs and have a 300-seat restaurant, double the size of the existing IKEA restaurant at Deira City Centre and a 50 seat exit café.
“IKEA is the first retailer in the UAE and the Middle East to introduce the self-service concept which is designed to keep prices low and allow customers to take their purchases home the same day,” said Mile Franicevic.
The Al Futtaim Group anticipates employing 250 people in the Dubai Festival City IKEA destination store, which is more than double the existing IKEA workforce in Dubai.
The Festival Centre, the heart of Dubai Festival City will in total cover two million square feet of gross leasing area. It will be the down-town landmark of Dubai and 60% of the retail area has already been committed by a diverse range of tenants and brands.