· GLA to double in size from 300,000sqft to almost 600,000sqft
· Extended dining and entertainment venues to create new leisure hub in RAK
Ras Al Khaimah’s (RAK) leading real estate company Al Hamra Group, is close to completion of the first phase of its AED390 million expansion of Manar Mall, the emirate’s premier retail and leisure destination.
Once fully completed the Gross Leasable Area (GLA) will increase from just over 300,000sqft to nearly 600,000sqft, over two levels, and will add another 80 retail destinations to increase the total number of retail outlets to 164 providing a wide range of international and local retailers for residents and visitors alike.
The first phase of the expansion project is due to be handed over before the end of Q2 this year, and complements the ambitions of the RAK Tourism Development Authority, which recorded 800,000 tourists in 2016, a 10.9% increase over the previous year, with a target of one million visitors by the end of 2019.
The Manar Mall expansion is being undertaken by Al Hamra Real Estate Development, a fully owned subsidiary of Al Hamra Group, which has proven expertise in developing and managing master-planned communities. Al Hamra Group owns hospitality, retail and leisure assets such as the iconic Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah.
“The expansion of Manar Mall, is in line with the growing trend for community retail and leisure-based destinations that focus on the customer experience and convenience of location and access, as opposed to the mega-malls that have defined the UAE’s retail landscape over the last decade,” said Benoy Kurien, General Manager, Al Hamra Real Estate Development.
“Retail developments with integrated leisure and entertainment facilities, positioned alongside restaurants and cafes are key to driving footfall, as more people demand local, indoor, family-oriented destinations for leisure, entertainment, dining and of course shopping,” added Kurien.
According to research by Knight Frank Middle East these community malls, anchored on hypermarkets rather than department stores, offer more service-focused and convenient retail destinations to cater to the local community’s everyday needs.
The property consultancy expects to witness a greater number of developers refining their master planned developments in future, appealing to the resident population by creating a sense of place and belonging.
Opened in September 2000, Manar Mall is central to the local community; partly overlooking the corniche, where shoppers and families can relax with a spectacular waterfront retail promenade overlooking the local mangroves.
The most visited mall in the emirate, it is the ideal place for residents and tourists to socialise, relax and shop. The mall enjoys a consistently strong footfall, equal to the entire population of the emirate, visiting the mall every month.
Located close to RAK city centre, the mall is already home to renowned brands such as Carrefour, Marks & Spencer, H&M, Sephora, M&Co, GAP, New Look, Next, Mothercare, Boots, Bath & Body Works, Chili’s, McDonald’s and KFC, together with some of the UAE’s most iconic homegrown retail brands, including Paris Gallery, Sun & Sand Sport, Damas and E-Max, with a Fun City and a seven-screen NOVO cinema.