Dubai: Dubai Mall, one of the world's largest shopping arcades, had a total footfall of 65 million visitors last year, a figure more than the number of tourists visiting cities like New York and Los Angeles, annually.
The Dubai Mall a part of the world's tallest building the Burj Khalifa complex houses an under-water zoo (aquarium) and an ice-skating rink apart from the shops and movie theatres, which is a major attraction to the visitors.
According to a statement released by Emaar Properties, the developer of the mall, more than 200 nationalities visited The Dubai Mall and its total number of visitors in 2012 surpassed annual tourists to New York city (52 million) and Los Angeles (41 million).
"The visitor footfall to The Dubai Mall has exceeded our expectations every year since its opening in 2008, and in 2012, we marked another landmark by welcoming 65 million visitors. This is complemented by the growth in retail sales of 24 percent compared to 2011. These figures are a clear testament to the the mall's evolution as the city's must-visit tourist and retail hub," Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said without giving a specific value for the mall’s sales performance.
In November, the UAE based developer said it will expand Dubai Mall to include luxury homes, serviced residences and a new hotel as part of its 1m sq ft expansion. Tourist arrivals in Dubai increased 10 percent and hotel revenue 19 percent in the first half of the year. Dubai has around 40 shopping malls.