Dubai is planning to build more than AED10bn ($2.7bn) of new retail space ahead of the World Expo in 2020.

Real estate developers are building new mall space to serve the emirate’s steadily growing population, which Dubai Municipality expects to grow at 7.5 per cent a year leading up to 2020, rising visitor numbers as Dubai’s status as a tourism destination develops, and the influx of visitors expected for the Expo.

All together, there is more than 2 million square metres of retail space at various stages of development across Dubai. Contractors working in the UAE say the current rate for building retail space is about AED5,000 a square metre, meaning the cost of developing that space at today’s prices is estimated at more than AED10bn. Likewise, some other already underway construction contracts have been awarded at different rates.

The largest project by far is the 743,000 sq m Mall of the World scheme that was relaunched in early July. Based on today’s construction costs, the Mall of the World scheme will cost more than AED3.7bn to build, although the expectation is that costs will rise ahead of 2020. This means the cost of developing the mall could be 10-15 per cent higher than today’s prices.

Other major projects include Nakheel’s Nakheel Mall on the Palm Jumeirah as well its Deira Islands Mall and Dragon Mart expansion, Emaar Properties’expansion to Dubai Mall, Meraas’ Bluewaters retail centre, Majid al-Futtaim Properties’ (MAF Properties’) Mall of the Emirates expansion, and Al-Futtaim Group’s expansion to Festival City.

Project Developer New area (square metres) Estimated construction cost (AEDm)
Mall of the World Dubai Holding 743,000 3,700
Dubai Mall expansion Emaar Properties 75,000 1,400
Nakheel Mall Nakheel 418,000 1,200
Dragon Mart expansion Nakheel 177,000 1,000
Deira Islands Mall Nakheel 186,000 929
IMPZ Mall MAF Properties 100,000 500
Jumeirah Village Triangle Nakheel 93,000 465
The Pointe Nakheel 136,000 374
Bluewaters Meraas 60,000 300
Jumeirah Village Circle Nakheel 46,000 232
Ibn Battuta expansion Nakheel 28,000 160
Mall of the Emirates expansion MAF Properties 25000 125
Festival City Mall Al-Futtaim Group 5000 100

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