Mirdif City Centre – A mall too far?

Majid Al Futtaim’s new Mirdif City Centre mall – located on the outer limits of Dubai – has reported 1 million visitors during the 3 weeks after its opening on March 16th; an average of almost 50,000 per day.

Now, the hot issue for local commentators is whether these visitors represent genuine consumer demand or whether they are mostly sightseers and that Mirdif City Centre will become a deserted shell during the summer months.

It is rumoured that Emaar’s massive Dubai Mall has struggled to establish a solid purchasing footfall during its first year and that its amazing aquarium has actually been the big attraction, so is there room for yet another mega-mall in Dubai?

Tim Mace of Tenzing Marketing Consultancy thinks MAF has got it right.

“Ten years ago, it would have been unthinkable for a 400+ outlet super-mall to be located in the Mirdif wilderness. However, this locality has mushroomed in population and infrastructure and the Emirates Highway has rendered Mirdif City Centre easily accessible to a catchment stretching from Sharjah to the Green Community at Jebel Ali.

Mirdif City Centre offers a sky-diving attraction which, on the face of it, is less of a pull than exotic reef-life or indeed Mall of the Emirates’ spectacular indoor ski slope, so gimmicks will probably not be enough to win the hearts and minds of the fickle Dubai public.”

However, MAF has a history of planning and executing major mall developments at the right time and in the right locations and has clearly taken these factors into consideration. Their track record in Dubai is difficult to fault; Deira City Centre, now 15 years old, is still fully tenanted and gridlocked with customers at most times of every day and night, whilst Mall of the Emirates is firmly established as the must-shop venue for residents within a 10-15km radius – not to mention tourists and visitors from Abu Dhabi.

Alongside the obligatory Carrefour store, the retail mix of Mirdif City Centre comprises many new brands to the Gulf, which will probably either make or break its longer-term mass appeal. Brand Management of the Mirdif City Centre itself will also be important. Importantly though, the selection of retail brands and food outlets seems to be strong and with this comes the promise of more leading international brands following suit. Last but not least, the mall car park connects seamlessly with the surrounding road system.

We at Tenzing are confident that the future is bright for Mirdif City Centre.

Tenzing Marketing Consultancy – based in Dubai – is helping brands to reach new heights.

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