Dubai Mall has maintained its unflagging popularity, with the UAE landmark welcoming 105 million visitors in 2023, witnessing a 19% uptick in foot falls from the previous year’s 88 million.

A release from the mall stated that it was the “most visited place on Earth in 2023”, while also indicating the momentum has continued into 2024, with the shopping destination already reporting that 20 million people visited the mall in the first two months of this year.

Emaar’s shopping malls, retail, and commercial leasing operations recorded revenue of 5.8 billion UAE dirhams ($ 1.6 billion) in 2023. During the same period, the portfolio achieved an EBITDA of AED5 billion, marking an increase of 54% over 2022, excluding AED700 million gain on sale of e-commerce site Namshi in Q1 2023.

The company attributed this performance to robust growth in tenant sales, which saw an increase of around 21% compared to 2022 with its mall assets achieving an average occupancy of 97% as of December 31, 2023.

In 2023, Dubai Mall also unveiled its latest additions Dubai Mall Chinatown with a week-long China cultural event.

According to Emaar, the rise in foot traffic has been attributed to the mall’s events and promotions last year, along with popular events such as the Dubai Shopping Festival, the Dubai Food Festival, and the 3 Day Super Sale.

The rise in footfall tracks with Dubai’s own rise in tourist numbers in 2023. According to official figures released by Dubai Tourism, last year, the emirate welcomed a record-breaking 17 million international visitors, signalling a growth of 19.4% year-on-year.

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)