A new community mall opened on Friday at Damac Hills 1, and property developer Damac Group said it would be building around six more shopping centres across the UAE.

“We are going to focus on community malls and will not compete with large ones. We opened the first in Damac Hills 2 and the second today in Damac Hills 1. We plan to have similar malls in Lagoons. We are looking at half a dozen malls in the UAE,” Hussain Sajwani, founder and chairman of Damac, told Khaleej Times in an interview on Friday.

Sajwani was speaking on the eve of the opening of the second mall, which spans 110,000sqft and offers retail, hospitality, leisure, and entertainment options. It features international and local brands across various categories, including 30 retail stores and 10 F&B outlets.

The upcoming six new malls will create hundreds, if not thousands, of new jobs in the retail sector.

The UAE’s retail sector has also recovered substantially in the post-pandemic period, along with the real estate, travel and tourism industries. The increased flow of foreign tourists and population as a result of new job opportunities in the country in the past two years has also bolstered UAE consumer spending by around a double-digit percentage.

Malls are also diversifying their offerings by bringing on board medical centres, indoor sports facilities, and new F&B brands to attract more visitors and increase footfall.

The newly opened mall is expected to record an annual footfall of around 1.3 million visitors. Future expansion plans are currently in the design stage in order to meet the demand from retailers, tenants, visitors and community members.

The new Damac mall houses a 28,000sqft Spinneys supermarket, Starbucks, Papa John's, Vietnamese Foodies, American Wax, Al Jaber Opticals, Al Ain Pharmacy and Lingo Play Area for children. A 9,000sqft gym and a dedicated 8,000sqft medical facility are slated to open soon.

Amira Sajwani, managing director for sales and development at Damac Properties, said the mall has a carefully curated tenant mix that perfectly aligns with the preferences of the local community.

“Damac is committed to consistently improving the quality of life for our residents and transforming our communities into dynamic spaces that offer unmatched convenience and satisfaction,” she said after inaugurating the mall.

Since 2002, the company has delivered approximately 46,000 homes, joining hands with some of the world’s most eminent fashion and lifestyle brands such as Versace, Cavalli, Just Cavalli, de GRISOGONO, Zuhair Murad, Paramount Hotels & Resorts, Rotana and Radisson Hotel Group.

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