Cleaning up! Mall of the Emirates revamp enters second phase
Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), a Dubai-based retail and hospitality conglomerate, said that work on the second phase of Mall of the Emirates’ (MoE) Dh1 billion ($272.2 million) redevelopment project is underway, according to a statement on Tuesday. It aims to expand the mall’s retail and entertainment offerings by early 2016.
The redevelopment, which MAF calls Evolution 2015, started last year and involves four phases, Dimitri Vazelakis, executive managing director of shopping Malls at MAF — properties, told Gulf News in a phone interview on Tuesday.
The completion of Evolution 2015 was set for late 2015, but that has been delayed to spring 2016. Vazelakis did not say why it has been pushed back, except to say “we take it as a series of events and some events piggyback one after the other.”
Phase one was completed in February this year, and included a Dh100 million fashion district. Covering an area of 5,000 square metres, the district, on level one, includes 30 stores; some are for existing brands, while seven are for brands that debuted in Dubai in a boutique format, such as McQ, Halston Heritage, Alice and Olivia and Maje.
Phase two will expand the mall by 25,000 square metres, and will include a new 24-screen Vox Cinemas, fashion brands, and 12 food and beverage outlets, some of which are new to the Middle East. The fashion category accounts for almost half of MoE’s current sales.
Work on the second phase will take place “on the second level, [above the area that is] between Central Galleria and the Carrefour hypermarket,” Vazelakis said.
The new Vox Cinemas will include Vox Max large-scale screens and an expanded Vox Gold premium experience. The space that currently occupies the existing 14-screen Vox Cinemas, which is on level one, next to Ski Dubai, will have fashion brands.
MAF did not say the cost of the second phase, which is set to be completed by June or July.
The third phase, which will start around August next year, will involve moving existing brands around the mall, while the fourth phase will include renovating the mall’s public areas, Vazelakis said.
Once the redevelopment project is completed, 25 per cent of the mall’s retailers will be new, according to Vazelakis. He expects the mall, which attracted around 40 million visitors in 2013, to see its footfall increase by up to 10 per cent in 2015 over this year.
Alongside the ongoing expansion in MoE, MAF plans to have a new luxury hotel linked to the mall. Vazelakis did not provide additional details on the property. Two hotels are already connected to the mall — the Kempinski and Sheraton. Additionally, a 370-room Hilton Garden Inn is expected to open adjacent to the mall.
Vazelakis declined to comment when asked if Apple is looking to open a store in MoE. Speculators on the internet have said last week that Apple is looking to have its first store in the region at the mall.