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Lulu’s biggest mall to come up at Kochi

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The UAE-based Lulu Group International, which runs more than 70 shopping malls in the UAE and Gulf, is setting up its ‘biggest’ mixed-use development, including a 300-room hotel, at an estimated investment of Rs 12 billion in the port city of Kochi in India.

The two million square feet mall is scheduled to be completed by 2010 and will have parking space for more than 3,000 vehicles. The project will also mark the entry of the Rs 4,500-crore Emke Group into the shopping and retail trade in India.

Addressing a press conference, Yusuffali M A, managing director of Emke Group of companies, said: “The iconic project is being built as per the best international specifications by world renowned consultants WS Atkins of UK and will house more than 300 national and international brands of fashion, jewellery, electronics lifestyle, home furnishings, furniture and accessories, bookshops and footwear. It will also have a seven theatre multiplex, family amusement centre with bowling alley, six restaurants, a 50,000 sq ft food court and coffee shops as well as other usual amenities.”

The project would also house a 300-room five-star hotel, managed by the global brand, Marriot Hotels. With this, the Marriot chain also forays into Kerala.

Plans for an airlines and aviation tower are also afoot on the lines of the Dubai National Air Travel building complex. The complex would house airline offices, travel agencies and other facilities related to travel. With the recent boom in Kerala’s economy, travel is being seen as the next major growth area for the state.

“This is the first-of-its-kind speciality commercial space in the region and is sure to complement the tremendous growth taking place in this sector,” Yusuffali said.

The NRI segment is expected to complement tourist inflow into the state and as a result of their global exposure into the shopping complex as well. The project is expected to be a major tourist destination and is expected to attract close to 25 lakh tourists every year.

The project would provide direct employment to 6,000 people and indirect employment to another 20,000, Yusuffali said.

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