Hundreds of Dubai hotels 'just 5 minutes from a mega mall'

Dubai is renowned for its incredible retail outlets and the emirate is home to the largest shopping centres on the planet.It is these impressive "mega malls" that have helped the city build a reputation as a playground for the rich and famous and a new study has highlighted just how accessible the many boutiques are to visitors.Research undertaken by Reed Travel Exhibitions - the organiser of Arabian Travel Market 2013 (ATM) - showed that 276 hotels and apartments in Dubai are less than 2km away from one of the five biggest shopping centres in the city.This means that thousands of people can get to a mall in less than five minutes in a taxi."The original research was conducted to look at how urban tourism has grown exponentially over the past two decades and how the retail landscape has expanded in parallel, to mark ATM's own 20th anniversary celebrations," commented Mark Walsh, portfolio director at Reed Travel Exhibitions. If nothing else, these figures highlight the strong relationship between retail and hospitality in the UAE.Developers are now making a point of building luxurious hotels right next to shopping malls, which is a sound strategy given the huge number of holidaymakers who are travelling to Dubai.It goes without saying that store owners across the emirate are making huge sums of money and bosses at Alpen Capital believe the rising number of tourists visiting Dubai each year will continue to benefit retailers.The company predicted that retail sales in the Gulf region will hit $270 billion by 2016 and Dubai is likely to lead the way.Dubai's malls are busy all year round, but they have proven particularly popular this month thanks to the high-profile Dubai Shopping Festival 2013.With an array of special events taking place, people have been flocking to the Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates in huge numbers.In fact, the demand for holidays in the UAE has risen so sharply in January that Emirates has put on extra flights between Dubai and Jeddah.

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