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A new, waterfront shopping destination is all set to open in Dubai’s Dubai Islands. Nakheel Malls will open Souk Al Marfa in April 2021 in partnership with DP World.

Stretching 1.9km along the waterfront, Souk Al Marfa is in close proximity with Mina Rashid, Mina Al Hamriya and Deira Wharfage. It can ship and import directly to its 2,500 shops and pavilions.

The retail and trading hub will operate seven days a week and 365 days a year. UAE citizens, residents and tourists are welcome to visit and “enjoy a diverse, large-scale shopping destination”, the Government of Dubai Media Office said in a Press note.

“A centralised one-stop-shop at Deira, Dubai’s oldest and most traditional trading hub, Souk Al Marfa provides affordable growth opportunities to traders by offering multiple benefits … These include 100 per cent foreign ownership, repatriation of capital and profit, no restrictions on currency movement, logistical ease and ancillary amenities such as warehousing, office space, showrooms, ancillary retail and F&B facilities; all with minimal paperwork,” the media office said.

Dubai is the world’s third-largest re-exporting hub, serving countries including the GCC, Africa, Iraq and Yemen. “Souk Al Marfa brings a unique opportunity to unlock inbound investment and increase trade from surrounding countries.”

Omar Khoory, Chief Hospitality and Assets Officer, Nakheel, said: “Dubai excels in the movement of goods globally through its port facilities, but we uncovered an opportunity for SME traders at a wholesale level. “Souk Al Marfa will bridge this gap and provide a vibrant centralised trader experience and a new stream of economic activity.”

Mahmood Al Bastaki, Chief Operating Officer, Dubai Trade World, said: “The launch of Souk Al Marfa will further enhance the wholesale trade capabilities in Dubai.

“We hope this project leverages from our recently launched NAU application that connects Dhow owners with traders, allowing them to search, negotiate and book shipments, and utilise the strategic location of Mina Rashid, Mina Al Hamriya and Deira Wharfage that are managed by DP World.”

Dubai Islands, Nakheel’s new, 15.3 square-km mixed-used waterfront city, is set to transform the traditional trading hub into a “world-class destination for living, tourism, retail and leisure”. The development has added 40km, including 21km of beachfront, to Dubai’s coastline.