New entertainment venues debut at Mirdiff City Centre mall

Mirdiff City Centre, which opened March 16, 2010, is Dubai’s newest mall and one of its largest with 2.0 million square feet of leasable area. It has 430 shops, two food courts, a 10-screen cinema, Carrefour hypermarket and three different entertainment/edutainment venues.

The owner of Mirdiff City Centre is Majid al Futtaim Properties, one the Middle East’s largest real estate developers. They run two other major malls in Dubai, Mall of Emirates and Deira City Centre in addition to other malls and real estate projects throughout the Middle East.

In 1995, Majid al Futtaim started developing and operating their own family entertainment centers for their malls. Their original concept was Magic Planet family entertainment center (FEC) which first opened in Deira City Centre. As such they were one of the first mall developers to vertically integrate to assure that they had quality entertainment anchors for their malls. They then developed Ski Dubai as one of the anchors for their Emirates Mall. As well as operating entertainment attractions in their own malls, they now operate Magic Planets in other malls. They have now created an umbrella Playnation brand for all their entertainment venues.

The Playnation brand was introduced at Mirdiff City Centre where a number of new entertainment attractions were debuted:

  • Aquaplay – an entertainment center for children 2-8 based on water with a number of water rides, an Aquatraptions area where children can interact with water, dry rides and games
  • Cite’ des Enfants – a children museum based upon the one of the same name in Paris
  • Soccer Circus Dubai – an interactive soccer (football) attraction
  • iFly Dubai – an indoor skydiving center using wind tunnel technology
  • Yalla! Bowl – a twelve-lane ten-pin cosmic bowling center

Included in the Playnation area of Mirdiff City Centre with Soccer Circus Dubai, iFly Dubai and Yalla! Bowl is a Magic Planet family entertainment center area with rides and games. The Aquaplay and Cite’ des Enfants attractions are located in different areas of the mall under their own brand names.

Mall and shopping center developers throughout the world are looking for unique entertainment attractions to differentiate their centers and drive traffic. There is a very limited selection of independently owned and operated entertainment attractions available, and once they are in a market, leasing to them no longer offers uniqueness. We believe we will be seeing more shopping center owners vertically integrating like Majid al Futtaim to develop, own and operate their own unique, anchor entertainment venues.