The first outlet of SouqExtra!, the new concept chain of neighbourbood super-centres, has started taking shape at Ewan Residences, Dubai, as part of a Dh. 200 million first phase comprising 10 centres across UAE.
Backed by some big names in investment, including National Bonds Corporation, the Lootah Group and Bonyan Holdings, the SouqExtra! outlets will transform the way residents of residential complexes live and relax, stated Mr Saleh Lootah. “Each investor has the experience and value addition that provide a platform to scale new heights in coming months,” he said, after the ground breaking ceremony.
At a ground-breaking ceremony, Mr. Saleh Saeed Lootah, Chairman, Mr Adel Al Shirawi, Vice Chairman, and Mr Saleh Abdullah Lootah, Managing Director of SouqExtra! introduced invitees and families from Ewan Residences to the refreshingly different mix of SouqExtra!.
“Today we are giving shape to a concept that will herald a revolution in the lifestyles of several communities,” said Saleh Abdullah Lootah. “SouqExtra! outlets are designed to help the community meet their daily needs without having to drive to big centers or supermarkets, while at the same time provide value additions that are not found in supermarkets.”
“Our role is to be a community solution provider, apart from being a ‘convenient’ center catering to diverse needs,” said Mr Shirawi. “SouqExtra! is focused on encouraging community involvement at all levels, be it employment, business or simple self sustained service.”
“One of the basic goals of SouqExtra is to create self-sustained communities. To achieve this, we have decided to give priority to residents. This is very important in a city like Dubai where traffic congestion makes travelling a nightmare,” added Mr. Shirawi.
The ground-breaking ceremony was accompanied by fun events including cycling and swimming competitions, free camel rides, magic show, music and games, as well as free snacks and sampling by SouqExtra!’s FMCG partners. Nearly 50 winners were given certificates and gifts.
“We plan similar fun-filled ground-breaking ceremonies in the coming months,” said Mr. Lootah. “The next event will be in Al Barsha in January 2008. At the Retail cityscape exhibition in February 2008, we will focus on consolidating our ‘Service, Lease Partners in Brand’ position, and open up leasing and rental of units for service operators such as Laundry, Pharmacy, Exchange, Kids Play area, Day care Center, Walk in Clinic, Gym, Banks, snacks, kiosks, etc. This will gear our partners for our September 2008 opening at Ewan Residences, followed by Al Barsha in November 2008, Al Muhaisnah and Al Quoz. By 2009, we will add 6 more outlets.”
Super-centers, which are common in the West, are neighbourhood community-focused centers, with integrated primary services such as high-end grocery, kids’ play area, fast food outlets, coffee shops, full-fledged gymnasium, salon, photo shop and community hall, all designed to help the community meet their daily needs. SouqExtra’s tagline “My Favourite Place” sums up the concept’s unique sales proposition. The gyms, for instance, will offer the full range of fitness equipment, complete with a trainer. The community hall will be rented out to residents for hosting parties, birthdays, events, celebrations, family gatherings, other community activities...
In the Phase 1 of SouqExtra, 500,000 sq. ft. of retail space will be added in UAE. Each SouqExtra! outlet will occupy an area of 50,000 to 100,000 sq. ft. and boast a uniform design with a friendly ambience and ample parking spaces, to serve as a one-stop shop for day to day needs of the community.
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