Dubai-based developer Nakheel opened the first phase of its new Deira Islands waterfront souk and marketplace development, Souk Al Marfa, to the public yesterday.
The project’s first phase features 400 stores across various categories in a fully air-conditioned complex stretching 1.9km along the waterfront. Souk Al Marfa also has 4,000 parking spots and access to public transport, with RTA buses from the nearby Gold Souk daily from 6am to 11pm. The bus service is free until September 1, Nakheel said, after which regular fares will apply.
The first retail destination on Deira Islands, the project has been designed as an indoor marketplace, bringing together businesses from local and international backgrounds in the form of small kiosks, retail stores, showrooms and street food markets.
Nakheel added that the project’s location on Deira Islands puts it a stone’s throw from Dubai’s traditional trading hubs. Souk Al Marfa is also within easy reach of hotels such as Riu Dubai and the soon-to-open Centara Mirage Deira Islands Beach Resort. Free shuttle buses have also been arranged to and from key Deira hotels – Hyatt Regency, ibis Dubai, Pullman Creek and Sheraton Creek – every two hours from 9.30am-8.30pm.
Omar Khoory, chief assets & hospitality officer, Nakheel, said: “The opening of Souk Al Marfa is an exciting milestone for the UAE, Dubai and Nakheel, bringing us a step closer to cementing Dubai’s position as the world’s third-largest re-exporting hub. Souk Al Marfa provides affordable growth opportunities to traders across the country, with the potential to ship and import directly to its shops and pavilions, and promises a diverse, large-scale shopping experience for customers. In this first phase, over 1,000 stores will open over the coming weeks, with a wider expansion in phase two towards the end of the year. When fully operational, Souk Al Marfa will be the UAE’s largest wholesale souk and waterfront destination.”