With new communities to serve, as well as developments that aim to reinvigorate existing districts, some of Dubai’s most prominent real estate developers are increasing the number of retail options available to residents of and visitors to the emirate. In talks with real estate consultancy Knight Frank UAE, OBG learned that total gross leasable area (GLA) of retail supply is expected to increase by 111% from 3.5m sq metres to 7.1m sq metres by 2024.

Nakheel Properties

Located at Nakheel Properties Palm Jumeirah, the Nakheel Mall will add 111,000 sq metres of GLA at an estimated cost of Dh1.2bn ($326.6m) when it opens in the latter part of 2019. Spanning five floors, the development has space to house 350 retailers as well as restaurants, leisure attractions and a 4000-vehicle car park, and was 70% leased out as of January 2019. The mall is accessible via the Palm Jumeirah monorail and sits adjacent to the 52-storey Palm Tower, another Nakheel Properties development, which is set for completion in 2020. The Palm Tower will house a five-star, 289-room St Regis Hotel on its first 18 storeys, 432 luxury residences, as well as a 50th-floor swimming pool and a fine dining restaurant plaza on the 52nd floor. Looking ahead, Nakheel Properties also expects to open the 418,000-sq-metre Deira Mall to the public in 2021. Built at a cost of Dh4.2bn ($1.1bn), the shopping centre will contain luxury and high-end fashion retail spaces, a hypermarket, a cinema and entertainment spaces.

Al Futtaim Group

Located at the recently developed Wasl Gate community in the port town of Jebel Ali, the Festival Plaza shopping centre will bring 64,800 sq metres of GLA, over 120 shops and 40 restaurants to Dubai when it opens in December 2019. Owned by Majid Al Futtaim Group, which also built Dubai Festival City Mall in 2005, Festival Plaza will house global brands such as Lulu Hypermarket, Marks & Spencer, and the emirate’s largest IKEA.


Property developer Meydan Group looks set to open the Meydan One mega-mall in the first quarter of 2020. The development is slated to bring 300,000 sq metres of GLA, 580 retail outlets and 190 restaurants, as well as the world’s largest dancing fountain, a 1-km ski slope, a heritage village, an 8.2-km lagoon and 500 metres of beach.

Taking into account the growing impact of e-commerce on brick-and-mortar retail establishments, Meydan Group has promised an tech-based, omni-channel experience that complements the physical space with a virtual platform. The Meydan One mall will serve future residents of the Mohammed bin Rashid City, Meydan One and District One mixed-use residential developments.


Also set to open in 2020 is Emaar Properties’ Dubai Hills Mall, which will bring 185,500 sq metres of GLA, 750 retail and dining spaces, a cinema and a hypermarket to Dubai. As well as serving the Dubai Hills Estate residential community, the mall is promoting itself as a destination for communities further afield, such as Downtown Dubai, Emirates Hills, Dubai Marina and Arabian Ranches. To handle the expected increase in footfall to the area, several bridges and roads at the junction of Umm Suqeim Street and Al Khail Road are being constructed by Emaar in coordination with the Road Transport Authority at a cost of Dh780m ($212.3m). As of July 2019 the roadworks were 45% complete.

In August 2018 plans were unveiled for the 750,000-sq-metre Dubai Square mega-mall in Dubai Creek Harbour, a joint project between Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding. The developers are emphasising the digital aspect of the space, which is planned to include smart fitting rooms, mobile purchasing, virtual entertainment and cashier-less checkouts. At an estimated cost of $2bn, the mall does not have a set completion date, but is on track to become the world’s largest retail destination.