Dubai: The developer of Cityland Mall near the Global Village on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road has raised Dh524 million from banks to part-finance the Dh1.2 billion development. It can avail of the funds over two years and make the repayments over a seven-year time frame, which the developer says are "extremely favourable terms". Kuwait's Burgan Bank subscribed to "two-thirds" of the debt raised, while Emirates NBD acted as lead manager. The Cityland Group — whose portfolio includes the popular Dubai Miracle Garden and Dubai Butterfly Garden — signed the financing deal last week and made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.
Construction of the mall — designed as a single-storey circular structure and which will create 1.8 million square feet of built-up area — is progressing. The steel structure works are underway, while concrete pouring has been going on for the last two weeks. The project is scheduled for completion in the second-half of 2018. With its fairly easy access to Arabian Ranches, Falcon City, some of the Dubailand components and other upcoming communities, the mall will serve a 200,000-resident base within a 10 to 15 kilometre radius, said Fahimuddin Sharfuddin, CEO and board member. "To date, we have utilised our own funds — totalling Dh600 million — to develop the mall. We do have plans to take the same design concept to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, but will wait for completion in Dubai.
We are in final negotiations to acquire the adjacent plot to the mall, where we intend to build a three- or four-star property and with direct connectivity," he said. (The Dh1.2 billion is for the mall alone.) Dubai’s retail sector is currently witness to mega-mall developments such as the one on Deira Islands (by Nakheel) and Meydan One at MBR (Mohammad Bin Rashid) City from Meydan One. Nakheel has got another high-profile retail attraction the Nakheel Mall — in a fairly advanced stage at its flagship Palm development. But amid the big ones, Dubai is seeing a wave of community and mid-sized malls. The Cityland venture is one such, and hoping to ride on the fact that its immediate area will be a bustling residential base in the near future. (Down the line, there could be competition, in the form of the mammoth Mall of the World development, which might home in on a location somewhere off Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road.) To date, Cityland Mall has touched the 30 per cent on its leasing programme, according to Fahim. The confirmations include Carrefour, Vox (which will operate 10 cinema screens), and family entertainment centre operator Fabyland. The mall will have two or three anchors to each of its four "key zones". Lease rates at the mall are in the range of Dh500-Dh800 a square foot. But apart from the location, a future attraction will be the heavy "nature" component the developer is integrating into the mall. This includes the 200,000 square foot open-air garden at the core of the property.