Dubai-based developer Al-Futtaim has opened the doors to its 697,500 sqft shopping centre, Festival Plaza, located in Wasl Gate Community in the South of Dubai. The new mall was opened in the presence of Omar Al Futtaim, vice chairman of Al-Futtaim Group; Timothy Earnest, group director of Al-Futtaim; and Al-Futtaim employees, mall staff and community members.
The retail precinct will serve as a convenient and local lifestyle destination, consisting of 120 stores in addition to key flagship stores IKEA, Marks & Spencer and Lulu Hypermarket. This is complemented by a 500-seat food court, over 40 dining and eating options, a Stay and Play offering, family entertainment Kids Club and over 2,300 parking spaces.
The construction of Festival Plaza began in 2017 and required a total of 14.5 million man-hours and around 4,000 manpower to complete the project. The mall is built around its customers’ needs, which were identified through extensive research in order to truly address customer demand. The convenience of its location gives it a distinct advantage as well as providing customers with access to anything they may need in their everyday lives.
“We are excited to welcome our first customers at Festival Plaza today. This is another milestone on our journey as we position ourselves as the leading malls and retail experience developer in MENA. The addition of Festival Plaza with all it has to offer strengthens our mall portfolio and reiterates our position as retail pioneers in the region,” said Earnest. “Al-Futtaim is committed to providing customers with the best in class experiences and celebrations from shopping, entertainment and dining. Today, we extend our Festival brand and its celebratory concept to the South of Dubai to offer community members a contemporary destination that combines spectacular experience and convenient services that meet their day to day needs,” he concluded.
One of the highlights of the destination is the biggest IKEA store in Dubai which also opened its doors to customers today. The store is spread across 382,120 sqft including a 53,820 sqft training area for IKEA employees and is also home to the world’s tallest IKEA navigation tower. IKEA Jebel Ali will also be home to the first IKEA bakery in the UAE that offers customers the chance to taste mouth-watering traditional Swedish baked goods.
Lulu Hypermarket is set to provide customers with their everyday essentials across its 49,365 sqft of space, of which 85% is allocated to grocery and fresh foods when it opens towards end of December. This is the first time Lulu hypermarket customers can sit in and eat their freshly prepared food from the live stations that will offer fresh sushi, pasta and pizza. Cheese connoisseurs can enjoy a selection of over 700 cheeses imported from around the world.
Families and friends can dine at the 500-seater food court and choose from the 13 global food chains, including Popeye’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Hardee’s and Baskin Robbins, amongst others. Meanwhile, customers looking to unwind and dine in style have 40 cafés and restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines including American, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Turkish and Italian. The region’s first Grain of Salt restaurant is set to open in the following weeks and give customers an exemplary culinary experience with its vibrant live cooking stations.
Festival Plaza will also have a Stay and Play facility, which allows children to spend time playing while parents shop or run errands at the mall. The communities nearby can also take advantage of the Kids Club, with an eventful calendar of activities that will keep little ones busy all year round.
Words by Katie Streten Experiential Strategy Director, VMLY&R COMMERCE Throughout the last year,June 13, 2021 | By Shruthi Nair
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