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Dubai mall: a multipurpose destination in the Middle East

Ravindra P. Saxena (University of Wollongong in Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.)

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

ISSN: 2045-0621

Publication date: 1 April 2011


Subject area

Retail marketing management.

Study level/applicability

Undergraduate management; MA; Master's in Business Administration and Master's in Strategic Marketing programs.

Case overview

Opening of the “Dubai Mall” in November 2008 set a new benchmark in retail history. The mall is considered the largest in the world by space and 6th largest in the world in terms of gross leasable area. The Dubai Mall is the UAE's most ambitious retail launch to date. This case examines how in today's highly competitive retail environment, added-value retailing, experiential retailing, or retailtainment has become a major component of the retail strategy mix to establish a competitive advantage. The new phenomenon of “retailtainment” has caught the momentum worldwide and success of Dubai Mall is the live example of its strategic role in the retail mix. The case also highlights the importance of “good location” in the success of retail establishments, whilst examining primary retail location theories and there relation to the phenomenal success of Dubai Mall.

Expected learning outcomes

Through this case study students will be able to: understand the roles of “entertainment” and “location” in retail mix strategy; analyse the new trend of “retailtainment” and “quality location” in creating value-added services and gaining competitive advantage in global competitive retail environment; ascertain the importance and application of “retailtainment” and “strategic location” in the real world's successful example of “Dubai Mall”; and diagnose the role of these learnt concepts in the retailing strategies practiced by other retail establishments in their cities/country.

Supplementary materials

Teaching note.



Saxena, R.P. (2011), "Dubai mall: a multipurpose destination in the Middle East", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 1 No. 2.



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