VIDEO PRESENTATION FROM AMEINFO:
The Dubai Mall : http://www.ameinfo.com/174274.html
The Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre : http://www.ameinfo.com/174970.html
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One of the world’s largest shopping mall has opened in Downtown Dubai despite the global economic gloom.
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More than 600 retail shops were reported to be ready for business when the doors officially opened at 2pm on 4 November.
Sprawling over a total area of 12 million sq ft, THE DUBAI MALL is situated at the foot of Burj Dubai — already the tallest building on the planet at around 700 meters (2,300 feet) and still under construction.
With a projected 1,200 retail stores, The Dubai Mall will be the largest shopping centre-cum-entertainment hub in the Middle East.
The mall is scheduled to house branches of some of the world’s best known retail chains, such as London’s renowned toy store Hamley’s, French retailer Galeries Lafayette, UK’s luxury supermarket Waitrose; and Bloomingdales, which has never before had stores outside the United States.
Attractions within the mall that have opened include:
- The mall’s main attraction is The Dubai Aquarium, one of the world’s largest aquarium tank plus a 270-degree walkthrough tunnel. The aquarium will eventually house up to 33,000 aquatic animals, including 400 sharks and rays combined.
- Adjoining with the aquarium is the Discovery Centre, an educational open-air experience with rainforest and oceanic settings. Here you’ll walk on the canopy above a miniature river or see exotic animals like the piranhas and humbolt penguins. [www.thedubaiaquarium.com]
- The world’s largest Gold Souk (gold marketplace) with 220 retailers.
- The Middle East’s first Olympic-size ice skating rink. [www.dubaiicerink.com]
- The 850,000 sq ft multimedia-enhanced Fashion Catwalk Atrium.
- 14,000 undercover parking spaces.
Other attractions within the mall include:
- Middle East’s first SEGA Republic indoor theme park covering 76,000 sq ft that will open early 2009. Expect high adrenaline thrills just like in SEGA video games!
- KidZania, a 80,000 sq ft children’s edu-tainment centre that will open mid 2009.
- Reel Cinema, a 22-screen cineplex with a total of 3,000 seats, including a 350-seater hall that will be Dubai’s largest, an arthouse cinematic hall and 4 premier class halls. Reel Cinema is a joint venture with Singapore’s Cathay and is due for opening later in 2009.
- The Grove, a state-of-the-art indoor-outdoor retail concept with fully retractable roof, which will bring in an outdoor community feel with tree-lined walkways, a lifestyle retail mix and a mix of casual dining cafés and restaurants.
- Fashion Avenue with 70 flagship stores dedicated to haute couture.
- Waterfront Atrium, with views of the Burj Dubai and the Dubai Fountain, a musical water fountain spreading over 2 soccer fields that shoot water to heights equivalent to that of a 50-storey building. The fountain is currently under-construction.
- Oasis Fountain Waterfall.
- Adjoining The Address Downtown Burj Dubai and The Address Dubai Mall are two 5-star hotels opening in just a few weeks time.
Intereting retail outlets in The Dubai Mall include:
- Hamley’s, 32,000 sq ft toy megastore that will include London’s Regent Street mini replica, has opened for business.
- New York’s Bloomingdale’s first overseas branch that will open in 2010.
- Galeries Lafayette, French departmental store opening in February 2009.
- Waitrose, British high-end supermarket has opened.
- Unconfirmed major tenant is Barneys of New York.
- Other major tenants include Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Zara (flagship), Forever 21 (megastore), Kinokuniya Bookstore, Dean & Deluca, Crate & Barrell, etc.
- Close to 100 fashion stores, this mall is truly a global all-in-one fashion powerhouse – from Armani to Club Monaco, Dolce & Gabanna to Ed Hardy, Fendi to Gucci, Harley Davidson to Jean Paul Gaultier, Karen Millen to Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs to Porsche Design, Ralph Lauren to Salvatore Ferragamo, Ted Baker to Van Cleef & Arpels, Versace to Zilli.
- Dubai’s largest foodcourt with 40 outlets, plus an organic foodmart, plus another 120 restaurants, fastfoods and cafes.
- Notable fastfood chains include Charley’s Grilled Subs, Fatburger USA, New York Fries, Taco Bell, Uno Chicago Grill. Cafes are aplenty – from Armani Cafe to Cold Stone Creamery, Espressamente Illy to Krispy Kreme, Le Pain Quotidien to Patchi Chocolates, Starbucks to Whittard of Chelsea.
The funny thing is Dubai has announced that it will build another mall that will be larger than this, to be called the – Mall of Arabia Dubai – that will have a total gross leasable area of 10 million sq ft as compared to The Dubai Mall’s 3.8 million sq ft.
The Dubai Mall expects an estimated 30 million visitors within the first year of opening. Globally, the mall has already won 5 distinctive awards prior to opening.
Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, is renowned for grandiose and often extravagant projects, including a series of man-made islands and luxury hotels. In September, it launched the world renowned Atlantis-branded water-themed resort billed as the most unique in the Middle East.