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Nakheel and Al-Futtaim stamp bigger retail footprint

Nakheel will issue a tender tomorrow to build a Dh2.5 billion shopping centre on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. Ground preparation and piling work has already begun at the site of Nakheel Mall, a 418,000 square metre retail, dining and entertainment complex.

Due to open in 2016, the mall will feature 200 stores, a nine-screen cinema, six medical clinics and a 4,200 sq metres supermarket. There will be five floors, three parking levels with 4,000 spaces plus a 1,000 sq metres indoor garden and a 180-metre high viewing deck with panoramic views of Palm and the Dubai skyline.

“The entire complex covers an area about the size of 40 football pitches, so it is a huge destination development which will enhance the Palm,” said Rebecca Rees, a spokeswoman for Nakheel.

The tender for the mall will run until November 27 and the Dubai developer is expected to award the contract by the end of the year, with construction work beginning in early 2014. The project also includes a five-star, 50-storey hotel. However, tomorrow’s tender does not include the property and a separate contract will be awarded for it at a later date.

Progress was also being made on another Nakheel project on the Palm, said Ms Rees.

“The ground preparation work for The Pointe, which is our other dining and entertainment destination on the Palm, is already under way,” she added.

Meanwhile, Al-Futtaim, another Dubai developer, is to build a “super regional mall” in Muscat that will become the Oman capital’s largest retail, leisure and entertainment complex when complete. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) and the Omani National Investment Funds Company to develop and manage the project.

Al-Futtaim’s vice chairman, Omar Al Futtaim, said the project was a significant milestone in the company’s operations in the country, where it has had a presence for the past 40 years. “The creation of major retail hubs is crucial towards the development of tourism as it helps destinations attract both regional and domestic traffic and this agreement today lays the foundations upon which Muscat can enhance its future tourism product and enrich the city’s retail landscape,” he said.

“This super regional mall is designed to inject a new impetus in the local job market both in the short and in the longer terms and upon its completion it aspires to meet the increasingly discerning retail and entertainment needs of rapidly growing middle income Omanis while helping the country attract more cross-border, intraregional and international visitors,” the company said.

The mall, which will be located adjacent to the proposed Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, will feature Muscat’s first Ikea store in addition to other brands such as Marks & Spencer and Toys ‘R’ Us.

“During its development phases, the project will create many new employment opportunities for Omanis and upon completion it will have the potential of becoming a key long-term employer for the sultanate’s career seekers across a variety of sectors, from retail, marketing, sales, to catering and entertainment,” said Nasser bin Khamis Al Jashmi, the chairman of Omran.

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