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Emaar reveals $400 million expansion plan for Dubai Mall

Emaar Properties has unveiled a Dh1.5 billion ($408 million) expansion plan for Dubai Mall, aimed at attracting more visitors and enhancing its offerings. The expansion will include 240 new luxury stores and food and beverage outlets, with construction already underway. However, no completion date has been provided.

Dubai Mall, which saw 105 million visitors last year—a 19% increase from the previous year—is a major attraction for tourists and shoppers alike. Mohamed Alabbar, founder of Emaar, described the expansion as a significant enhancement to one of the world's most visited sites, reflecting Dubai's goal to remain a leader in global innovation and culture.

Dubai is heavily investing in its tourism sector. In the first quarter of 2024, the city welcomed 5.18 million international visitors, up from 4.67 million in the same period the previous year. Last year, Dubai achieved its best annual tourism performance with a 19.4% increase in international tourist arrivals, totaling 17.15 million—surpassing the pre-pandemic record of 16.73 million visitors in 2019.

Additionally, Dubai is constructing a new passenger terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport to accommodate increasing tourist numbers, as Dubai International Airport nears full capacity.

Retail spending in the UAE rose by 14% last year, driven by significant growth in fashion, general retail, leisure and entertainment, and hypermarkets and supermarkets, according to a report by Majid Al Futtaim.

Dubai Mall, opened in 2008 and spanning 1.2 million square meters, is one of the largest shopping centers in the world. It features over 1,200 retail outlets, including Galeries Lafayette and Bloomingdale's, along with 200 international dining options. Its attractions include the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, a 24-screen cineplex, KidZania Dubai, Play DXB, Dubai Ice Rink, Ekart, and Zabeel Sports District.

Emaar's revenue from malls, hospitality, leisure, entertainment, and commercial leasing increased by over 26% last year to Dh9.2 billion, making up more than 34% of the company’s total revenue. In February, Emaar also announced two new luxury projects in Dubai worth a combined Dh96 billion, reflecting the strong growth in the property market driven by high investor demand.
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