The west expansion of Sahara Centre will improve overall visiting experience. Credit: Sahara Centre.
The Sahara Centre houses a dynamic theme park, Adventureland, for the entertainment of visitors. Credit: Martin Lewison.
More than 80% of the retail space at Sahara Centre has been leased out. Credit: HusseinKefel.

Sahara Centre, one of the leading shopping destinations in the UAE, is expanding its west wing to refresh its contemporary look and provide a broader range of offerings to the visitors.

The expansion will add local and international fashion and lifestyle brands to the shopping centre, making it one of the biggest lifestyle hubs in the Northern Emirates and the UAE. The project will also strengthen the shopping centre’s position as a leading destination for famous brands.

The Sahara mall expansion is being executed in a phased manner, with the third phase of its west expansion scheduled to be completed by the second quarter of 2021.

Sahara Centre location

The shopping centre is located at Al Nahda Sharjah on the Dubai-Sharjah Highway, off the Al Nahda Interchange, and directly on the Dubai-Sharjah border.

Sahara Centre is easily accessible from the areas of Deira, Dubai, Sharjah, and the Northern Emirates.

Sahara Centre expansion details

The mall’s west expansion will cover a built-up area of 1,001,043ft². It will feature a well-landscaped outdoor area, where visitors can take a relaxing stroll with the enigmatic landscape.

The interior design of all public spaces inside the Sahara Centre west section is inspired by the beauty, textures and colours of the desert. The expansion includes interior design for other areas such as lift lobbies, mall corridors, prayer rooms, clinics module, and public toilets.

A mix of offices, retail outlets, and clinics module will be spread over the upper five floors with a landscaped podium positioned at the third level. These five floors have been designed with a minimalist architectural scheme with curtain walls and overhanging louvered canopies.

The clinics module will be located on the second floor, while the ground and first levels will create a seamless connection between the existing mall and its west expansion. The project involves the construction of three basements to provide parking for the mall visitors and offices.

The expansion in the west wing of the mall will create a new panoramic and skylight area for restaurants, cafes, and other stores.

Retail offerings and amenities at the mall

Opened in February 2002, the Sahara shopping centre has a total mall area of 1,853,683ft² with a gross leasable space of 750,000ft².

The mall houses 350 retail units and anchor stores such as Baby Shop, Emax, Marina Home Interiors, Toys ‘R’ Us, Zara, Matalan, and Spinneys. The men’s fashion retailers at the mall include Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Lacoste, Levi’s, and Jack & Jones among others. The retail outlets for women’s fashion at the mall include Forever 21, Adalar, Giordano, Mango, Next, Louis Feraud, Jury Al Kuwait Fashion, and Lipsy London.

The expansion will include a dedicated floor for cosmetics and aesthetics-related products and services such as spas, salons, cosmetic centre, beauty product shops, and fragrance outlets.

National Bonds, a leading Sharia-compliant savings and investment company, announced its new branch in the shopping centre in February 2021. The visitors of the mall can access a dedicated space for Sahara Healthcare City, spread across five floors adjacent to the mall.

Dining and entertainment avenues at Sahara Centre

The mall houses restaurants such as Al Farooj Alshami Restaurant, Chilis, Dampa Feast Seafood Restaurant, Hatam Restaurant, Laffah Restaurant, Papaya Salad Restaurant, Pizza Hut, Vapiano, Shakeys, Yoko Sushi, and Jolibee.

Other dining options at the shopping centre include different cafes such as Café Barbera, Caribou Coffee, Caffe Nero, Icons Coffee Couture, Tim Hortons, Starbucks Coffee, Cinnabon, PappaRoti Cafe, PAUL, Dunkin’, and Portofino Patisserie & Cafe.

The entertainment avenues at the mall occupy more than 27% of the total gross leasable area.  The shopping facility includes UAE’s biggest indoor entertainment park.

The first floor of the shopping centre houses Adventureland, a premier family entertainment centre and dynamic theme park, which offers 17 rides and attractions and more than 70 video simulators and redemption games.

Additional entertainment options include Fitness First, and Novo Cinemas, a six-screen multiplex theatre. Novo Cinemas is being renovated as part of ongoing improvements.

Contractors involved

Zebian Industries was awarded a contract to design the façade works of the Sahara Mall Development West Expansion and Transition Zone. Sigma Structures has been contracted to design steel structures in the transition zone at the first floor of the mall.

The main contractor for the project is Darwish Engineering Emirates, while DEWAN Architects is the project consultant.

Advanced Industries Group (AIG), a UAE-based contracting and specialised manufacturing company was contracted to supply and install ID package works for the shopping centre expansion and transition project, in September 2018.

UK-based company Interpon was selected to provide architectural powder coatings for the mall’s west expansion.