The Dubai Mall announced that it has set a new milestone by welcoming 65 million visitors in 2012, an increase of more than 20 percent compared to the 54 million recorded in 2011.
Retail sales across the various outlets housed within it also saw a robust growth of 24 percent over the 2011 figures.
The mall is said to have surpassed the annual visitor numbers to leading shopping malls and leisure attractions globally, with guests being both UAE residents and nationals of over 200 countries. It attracted more visitors than New York City with over 52 million tourists in 2012, and Los Angeles with 41 million.
Chairman, Emaar Properties, Mohamed Alabbar stressed that the impressive growth achieved by The Dubai Mall is testament to the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, to whom he expressed his gratitude for continued guidance and support.
“These figures are a clear testament to the mall’s evolution as the city’s must-visit tourist and retail hub. Significantly, the strong footfall also reiterates the economic impact of our flagship mall development by creating several thousand new jobs every year and supporting the trade and logistics sector of Dubai, which are key contributors to the economy.”
Alabbar added that the mall’s record visitor arrival has also been the result of a sustained value addition, as along with a wide choice of global brands and over 1,200 outlets, the mall’s leisure attractions are unique and serve as a magnet for tourists.
“We have also further strengthened accessibility by creating new parking spaces and completing the Metro link which connects the Dubai Metro station to the mall. The Dubai Mall has clearly set a global benchmark in mall and leisure operations, and we are building on it further with the new expansion programme across 92,903m²,” he continued.
The Dubai Mall’s new expansion is set to take a total construction area of over 1,207,739m². The highlight of its retail expansion is the creation of a boulevard – a high-end shopping strip expected to feature personalised flagship stores of international brands.
In 2012, the mall not only strengthened the offering of its 40,877m² Fashion Avenue, but had also introduced The Souk, an elegantly designed showcase of jewellery, accessories and traditional Arab attire outlets and handcraft stores. It additionally unveiled The Village, offering a rich collection of denim brands and bringing an outdoor community feel with tree-lined walkways, cafés and restaurants. Featuring a fully retractable roof, The Village is open during winter months enabling visitors to have a true outdoor feel.
The mall hosted several celebrities last year from the film, art and music world, as well as several international exhibitions and roadshows. In addition to the 200 F&B outlets, the mall’s leisure attractions include Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo; SEGA Republic indoor theme park; KidZania, dedicated children’s city; Dubai Ice Rink, an Olympic sized ice rink; and the 22-screen Reel Cinemas that can seat over 2,800 people.
Described as ‘The Centre of Now’, the $20 billion Downtown Dubai features Burj Khalifa; several high-end hotels; and thousands of residential apartments and modern offices, among others. It was in the global spotlight hosting the New Year’s Eve Gala which attracted a record 1.7 million visitors and was broadcasted live to over two billion people.