Dubai World centralises retail business under Nakheel banner


Dubai, Dubai World has centralised its retail activities under the Nakheel banner following the creation of a new retail property division Nakheel Retail.

Previously known as Istithmar Retail, the new division will operate under the Nakheel name, providing planning, development and management services to the Dubai World group of companies.

Projects currently being developed by Nakheel Retail include a significant retail development on The Palm Jumeirah, the roll out of local neighbourhood convenience malls within Nakheel’s numerous residential developments, and further large scale regional malls to support the future The Palm Jebel Ali, Dubai Waterfront, and The Palm Deira projects.

Chris O'Donnell, Nakheel's chief executive said, "Dubai World is committed to the development and delivery of world-class shopping facilities to meet the varying needs of our residential customers and the ever growing tourist market in Dubai. As such, the group feels that its retail property business will be fully realised under the Nakheel name."

Nakheel Retail is headed up by CEO David Thurling who has been managing Istithmar Retail for the last 14 months and has more than 20 years experience in the shopping mall industry in Australia, Asia and the Middle East.The retail property business will also oversee the management and expansion of the 140,000 square metre Ibn Battuta Mall and the 130,000 square metre Dragon Mart.

Nakheel Retail CEO, David Thurling, was tight-lipped on the number of new shopping malls the company plans launch between now and 2010, as well as its investment capital and tie ups with retailers.

"Most new retail space will be developed as part of proposed real estate developments, where a captive local market already exists. If timing and circumstances meet (Nakheel's) commercial objectives", or even the acquisition of existing retail property," he said."

"We are looking at a range of retail developments from full-scale regional malls through to unique, smaller neighbourhood convenience centres. The plan is to develop these facilities throughout Nakheel's portfolio of large-scale residential developments including The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Waterfront, The Palm Jebel Ali, Ibn Battuta Mall, and International City. We are also considering new developments in other markets as a part of Dubai World's global growth," Thurling added.

Nakheel Retail will also oversee the development of the Dubai Design Centre, planned as the region's largest shopping destination for home furnishings, appliances, DIY products and designer homewares.