Mall is forced into ‘soft launch’

The widely anticipated marketing bonanza for the launch of Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates turned into a damp squib last week.

  • E-Mail
By  Tim Burrowes Published  October 2, 2005

The widely anticipated marketing bonanza for the launch of Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates turned into a damp squib last week. With only a third of the planned shops opening, marketing plans had to be postponed and revised at the eleventh hour. The mall, which will be the fifth largest in the world when complete, was aiming for a world record of more than 300 retail openings on launch day, but in the end only 100 opened their doors on Wednesday. A PR boss, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s a right mess down there. Why didn’t they postpone the launch for a month?” Among those frustrated was Rahul Nagpal, director of client services at Partnership Advertising, whose clients include mall tenant Centrepoint, the new store concept by Landmark Group. “The mall was supposed to open on the 26th. We had two teasers booked plus a launch day ad. On the 25th, they said the launch was on the 28th. Thankfully we managed to get a line into the ad,” he said. “It has been frustrating. The opening date kept changing and ideally we would have liked the mall to open in its entirety.” Rob Mitchell, managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi, the mall’s ad agency, said that it had been a “soft launch”. “We are not unleashing the full campaign yet,” he said. “It was not always the plan, but you have to accept that it is a bit of a moveable feast when you open a shopping mall.” Deema Termanini, account manager at Hill & Knowlton, the mall’s PR agency, said: “It is a soft launch but the area that is open is larger than the whole of Deira City Centre. “With a mall of this size it is very difficult to get things ready at the same time so it was always going to be that some things opened first.” When completed, the 6.4 million square foot mall, located at interchange four of Sheikh Zayed Road, will house an indoor ski slope and 14-screen cinema. A full opening is expected at Eid.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code