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Mall than meets the eye, Part I
Dubai boasts tens of glitzy malls, including the largest one in the region. But what are the essentials of a successful shopping center? Part I.
February 12, 2009 1:04 by Rania Habib
The courts – China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia and Andalusia – spread over 1.3 kilometers, on one floor, and are divided for ease: convenience, family, modern trends, lifestyle, designer fashion, and entertainment. They also house the only IMAX cinema screen in the UAE, and architectural feats including a hand-painted mosaic dome in the Persia court, and a giant model of an elephant in the India court.
“Because it’s all one level, it seems a lot more spread out than it actually is,” explains Jones. “You can go to Mall of the Emirates and walk the same distance, but you would have done it on two levels. You’ll find someone coming in here for the first time will take it as a slow and enjoyable experience. Regulars know the areas and they will go there, and we know that from the footfall. We put it into sections, which is clever because you have a reason to go to a specific court, and you won’t get caught up in the bustle. Visitors will park accordingly to the areas. We have great parking throughout all the courts, not just one. So for our regular customers it’s more relaxed, and it’s not a chore or a challenge to go there.”
Jones adds that while Ibn Battuta does not compete with other malls in terms of attractions, “Where we aim to differentiate ourselves is understanding our customers’ wants and needs, who our customers are in various segments, and delivering from a service point of view their requirements. Therefore the retail mix, experience, parking, food offerings, family things to do, lighting… All these things become more and more important and that’s where we measure our success on those deliverables.”
First seen on Communicate magazine.
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