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The world’s largest shopping mall is about to get even bigger

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United Arab Emirates real estate developer Emaar Properties announced Monday plans for a 1.5 billion dirham ($408 million) expansion of Dubai Mall.

The 12-million-square-foot mall is already the largest shopping center in the world by total area, and the expansion will add a further 240 luxury stores, along with new food outlets.

Adjacent to the record-setting Dubai Fountain and the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, the expansive shopping center already houses the world’s largest mall aquarium, an immersive digital art museum, a complete 155-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton, an Olympic-sized ice rink and a 26-screen cinema.

In a press release, Emaar Properties founder Mohamed Alabbar described the expansion as “a great addition to one of the most visited sites in the world.”

Last year, Dubai welcomed a record number of tourists, and the mall says it received 105 million visitors last year, up 19% from 2022. The planned expansions will accommodate the expected increase in footfall as the city invests in its tourist economy.

While brick-and-mortar retail in many places around the world is in decline, retail spending in the United Arab Emirates rose 14% last year, predominantly driven by fashion (up 31% year-on-year), general retail (up 16%), and leisure and entertainment (up 15%), according to Majid Al Futtaim Group’s annual retail economy report. Government initiatives including the Dubai Shopping Festival — launched in 1996 — have given the emirate a reputation for offering a premium shopping experience across dozens of malls.
Emaar has not disclosed when work is expected to begin. Source : CNN

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