Top designer showcases Mall of Arabia
Dubai, June 12, 2008
The spectacular nature of the retail “adventure” being created at City of Arabia in Dubai is being revealed in detail for the first time today (June 12) by one of the world’s leading visitor attraction experts.
Top American designer Jack Rouse is telling an audience of retail industry professionals in London that Mall of Arabia, one of the world’s largest malls and a key feature in the $5 billion City of Arabia development, is to use a stunning edutainment experience to help drive business into its 1,400 retail outlets.
Rouse, who has developed some of the world’s most unique entertainment projects, said Mall of Arabia’s star attraction, the $300 million Restless Planet, was “the most exciting concept that I have ever seen for a mixed-use shopping centre development.”
Part theme park, part earth science museum, and part planetarium, he said Restless Planet will establish Mall of Arabia as “an attraction city offering something for every age and culture,” drawing thousands of visitors and sending waves of extra shoppers into the mall.
Rouse is speaking at the RLI Global Opportunities Conference 2008: Embracing Global Retail, at Wembley Stadium, London. City of Arabia is the platinum sponsor of the two-day international retail industry event.
His company, Jack Rouse Associates, has been hired as designers and executive producers for Restless Planet by Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group, owners of the 20 million square foot City of Arabia project which lies at the gateway to Dubailand.
Restless Planet will feature the world’s largest collection of animatronic dinosaurs, as well as a variety of spectacular, themed rides, including a river raft journey back to the Mesozoic era through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
Rouse will illuminate his conference address with a video which, for the first time, reveals the dramatic nature of main attractions designed to draw more than 10,000 visitors per day.
And he is telling retail industry leaders and decision-makers that inside City of Arabia visitors and residents will find an exceptional urban community with office towers, schools, apartments, galleries, medical clinics, and recreation centres.
He said the main elements include 34 commercial and residential towers, and Wadi Walk, a water front community consisting of stylish apartments, outdoor cafes and attractive retail outlets set alongside an 8km long canal.
But it is the combination of Mall of Arabia and Restless Planet which Rouse says will be City of Arabia’s biggest asset, providing irresistible visitor appeal and delivering a steady flow of shoppers with money to spend.
“We have been developing unique international entertainment projects for over two decades, and whether it’s for Universal Studios, LEGO, Paramount or Procter & Gamble, Dolly Parton or the Green Bay Packers, our focus is always on the guest and on creating a memorable and repeatable experience,” said Rouse.
Phase one of the Mall of Arabia component is now 89 per cent contracted and reserved. Anchoring the four million square feet gross leasable area (GLA) spread across the twin level first phase will be many of the leading brand names managed by two of the Middle East’s biggest retail organisations, Landmark Group and Azadea Group.
Between them, they have signed up for a total of more than 800,000 square feet of retail space in the first phase. Phase two will have a further six million square feet of GLA.
Integral infrastructure works have been completed on the 20 million square foot City of Arabia site and super-structure work will start soon on the project’s main components.
Planned to link with the Dubai Metro, the City of Arabia monorail will provide a comfortable and convenient link to all the major theme parks and shopping areas. City of Arabia will have a phased opening starting towards the end of 2010.