Dubai-based regional retail conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim unveiled a 1 billion multi-stage redevelopment.The new "vertical" expansion adds 36,000 sqm of space to the existing structure, and Majid Al Futtaim’s officials said they were proud of the fact that the ‘Evolution 2015’ was undertaken without disrupting the operations of existing retail tenants.
The new area – equivalent to about nine acres or eight professional football fields – offers space for a total of 40 retail outlets including more than 20 fashion retailers, some of which are entering the region for the first time, and 12 dining outlets all on the new third floor of the mall.
According to the mall operator, the extension that has created an entirely new floor atop the retail destination is an architectural feat especially since it enabled Mall of the Emirates to remain fully operational throughout redevelopment.
Architects were tasked with creating a one-metre-thick deck on top of the existing structure, eliminating any load on the existing roof above anchor retailer Carrefour.
As a 3,000-strong team worked continuously for 18 months, the mall operated as normal throughout the redevelopment, logging 15 million man hours to construct two new domes, three major glass barrel roof lights, nine new bridges, and three escalators to seamlessly connect the extension to the existing mall.
Of the new retail and dining options, Majid Al Futtaim’s fashion business has introduced key brands entering the Middle East’s retail landscape via Mall of the Emirates’ Evolution 2015. These include premium British fashion house, AllSaints; yoga-inspired athletic apparel brand, lululemon athletica; and later this year, leading US specialty retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch. Other brands also debuting in the region include Seafolly and Omnia Baharat. They will be joined with new flagship stores from Majid Al Futtaim’s existing fashion brands, Juicy Couture and Jane Norman.
Officials highlighted that the new Vox Cinemas is the entertainment centrepiece of Evolution 2015. Vox today unveiled a 100,000 sqft entertainment destination with 24 screens within the mall’s new extension, making it the largest complex in the Middle East.
The new offerings feature advanced technologies such as: the first and only Imax with Laser screen in the Middle East; the largest Vox 4DX auditorium; the world’s first of its kind luxury cinema experience called Theatre by Rhodes, combining fine food and film in a collaboration with Michelin Star Chef, Gary Rhodes; and two Vox Kids, colourful cinemas with an adjoining fun-filled party room for birthday parties.
New restaurant venues flanking the Vox Cinemas entry include Dean & Deluca, 800 Degrees, Eat Greek Kouzina, and Din Tai Fung.
The mall has also introduced a new luxurious valet parking experience, located adjacent to the Fashion Dome and Central Galleria, where the well-heeled can enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee, water or fizzy drinks or two as they wait for their cars to be brought back by uniformed drivers.
There’s also good news for those not looking at the valet parking option. The extension means that 1,300 new shaded parking spaces with a dedicated entrance are now open, taking the total available mall parking to a massive 7,900 cars.
In addition, a new taxi arrival facility next to Ski Dubai complements the mall’s direct link to Dubai Metro, delivering opportunity for growth in Mall of the Emirates’ footfall.