Retail City awards also honour Landmark, THE One, Kuwait centre architect, Arab boutique franchise, Indian mobile stores, Portuguese mall
Dubai's Mall of the Emirates – currently the largest shopping mall in the Middle East – has been awarded the World's Best Retail Destination of the Year award in the prestigious 2008 Retail City Awards.
The awards to honour excellence in the industry were made at Retail City 2008, the three-day industry showcase for investment and development of real estate for the $100 billion regional retail sector which concluded recently at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.
Mall of the Emirates' biggest claim to fame is the Middle East's first indoor ski slope, Ski Dubai, one of the largest in the world. In making the award, the judges said no others came close. "A wonderful place for tourists and residents alike, the mall offers a true blend of leisure, retail and food and beverage in a world class retail mall," they added.
Described as a "very attractive and successful retail project," the Forum Coimbra Shopping Centre in Portugal took the Mall of the Year award.
United Arab Emirates based Landmark Group, one of Middle East's fastest growing conglomerate businesses, won recognition as the Retailer of the Year. The judges praised Landmark for "dedication and an awareness of their consumers habits coupled with the ability to embrace new concepts."
Architectural Designer of the Year was architect Wael Al-Masri for Al-Manshar Shopping Centre, Kuwait. The judges said of the centre: "A design which speaks to and responds to the total environment."
Emerging Market Retailer of the Year award went to The MobileStore, India's largest chain of multi-brand and multi-service telecom outlets. "Innovative and unique in a truly emerging market," said the judges.
For "well defined and consistent delivery of standard and image," the Etoile La Boutique range of shops in the Arab world was named Franchise Operator of the Year.
An award for corporate social responsibility went to THE One - Total Home Experience - the leading home fashion brand borne in the UAE. "Hard not to applaud The One - this is obviously what they are better at than anyone in the business," said the judges.
Retail City brought together global retailers, investors, shopping centre developers, franchise networks, shopping centre management, architects and regional authorities to focus on all aspects of the retail development cycle.
Retail City 2008 received solid backing from key industry players such as Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad Al Habib Real Estate Co. and Kinan International Real Estate Development Co. who both took platinum sponsorship and AMS and Latin Organics who took gold sponsorship. Silver sponsors included Beyoot Real Estate & Marketing, Duncan Private Wealth Management and Grand Optics