Dubai Outlet Mall plans expansion as retail sector booms

Dubai’s Outlet Mall is planning an expansion, tapping demand for bargain brands.

“Phase two will be expanding the Outlet Mall. It has been on the cards for sometime, but we are working more seriously now towards expansion,” said Mr Vishal Mahajan, the mall’s director. “It takes a couple of years to build so not before 2016. The spades are not in the ground yet but it has moved on from the drawing board and the plans – with regard to space available, number of outlets, etc – are being finalised as we speak.”

The mall, owned by Al Ahli Holding Group, opened in 2007 offering an uneven retailing experience. The churn rate of retailers opening and closing led to vacant stretches of empty shops.

But today it has 240 shops with 97 per cent of its retail space leased and 150,000 to 160,000 customers a week.

“The growing number of expatriates moving into the country especially after the Expo 2020 is expected to contribute to the outlet mall expansion,” says Fatemah Sherif, a retail analyst at Euromonitor. “Furthermore, with the growing number of compounds due to open in Dubailand and this area becoming a hit, the outlet mall is likely to be closer in proximity encouraging more shopping there. Rising prices are likely to benefit the business – low-mid income earners will still be seeking value for money products.”

Dubai’s mall developers are benefiting from rapidly rising tourist arrivals and improving consumer confidence that has triggered a wave of retail spending across the emirate. The outlet mall offers products at frequently deep discount as fashion brands look to sell excess inventory and older products. The mall offers both upmarket and mass market brands.

“We have high street brands and luxury such as Burberry and Armani mixed with value brands like Giordano and Mango,” said Mr Mahajan. “Every two to three months the collection is changed in the main malls, which means they have to get rid of the ‘old’ merchandise. It may have only been there two weeks, but the new concepts and styles take precedence. The outlet mall gives them the chance to make more money from what was dead stock.”


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