Mall than meets the eye, Part II
Dubai boasts tens of glitzy malls, including the largest one in the region. But what are the essentials of a successful shopping center? Part II.
February 15, 2009 8:34 by Rania Habib
Retailing off. What of Dubai’s other malls, whose time in the spotlight has come to an end with the coming of The Dubai Mall? “What will happen is that Mall of the Emirates will become more of a mainstream mall, and The Dubai Mall more of a luxury mall. And you’ll find in a market that malls will polarize to serve specific communities,” says Ibrahim. “Mall of the Emirates is really good, but architecturally it’s really naïve. That was a space where they could have built anything, but instead they built an alien-looking stainless steel ski slope; it’s really awful. But it works really well commercially, it’s fantastically planned and really intuitive, but unfortunately it’s just another American shopping mall, and that’s not what we should be building anywhere in the world, really.”
“One of the biggest failures in shopping malls is the development of Burjuman, how they’ve created the new bit and left the old bit the same,” continues Ibrahim. “I think that’s bizarre, they should have blended the two. It doesn’t work from a retailer perspective, because no retailer wants to be in the old bit.”
Ibrahim prophesies that, “The days of the closed off, sealed shopping mall are numbered. I think there will be a move towards much more connectivity to other uses, where shopping malls will be part of more of a mixed-use community, with connectivity to housing, leisure, and exhibitions, and certainly there’s going to be a convergence with shopping and events and entertainment. In principle, the way malls will be conceived will not be with shopping as the starting point. The starting point will be the experience.”
First seen in Communicate magazine.
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