"Of the total indoor floorspace of 5.9 million square feet, a massive 3.77 million square feet is the gross leasable area."
States an article in the Gulf News here regarding the newly opened Dubai Mall. During my evaluation of retail markets of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah in early 2006, it was obvious that Dubai was redefining how one looks at the concept of "shopping". Again, as I have discussed in my previous posts regarding design and experience (see "It is all about Design and Experience?" here) - the design of these retail spaces are associated with functionality of being able to purchase products / services of choice while enjoying a unique experience whether it is sking the 1.5 kilometer slope at the Mall of the Emirates (see here) or the aquarium at the new Dubai Mall (see here).
Back in early 2006 during my analysis, it was clear that foot falls were the measure more so than for example adjacency of complimentary sale opportunity, ex: outside a niche, high-end watch shop a cheap children's toy cart was parked. It had not improved tremendously till this past summer when I was there. Many other retail space use and growth principles were missing. Another reason I discovered was the space's owner has to contend with a globally diverse population.
Dubai to me is an ideal place for using immersive and experiential environments to understand the consumer and uniquely deliver to them what they desire. For now, it is big, bigger to huge! In a little rewording per Mr. Abed Bibi a marketing executive and friend of mine - "Please come and Do-Buy".