Every Reason to Celebrate
CapitaMalls Asia's first mall in Udaipur, India, The Celebration Mall, attracts Indian brands, international labels and the crowds
Issue: Sep 2011
Udaipur's first mall, The Celebration Mall, wrapped in a red bow as a gift to its customers at its launch
Udaipur was abuzz with activities even before The Celebration Mall, its first shopping mall, opened its doors last month. The streets were painted with the mall's tagline, "Celebrate Life", the radio airwaves promoted the mall's shopping, dining and entertainment options and part of the mall was wrapped in a giant red bow, to symbolise that it was a gift to the shoppers of Udaipur.
But the fanfare was warranted. Even though the mall opened only recently on 2 July 2011, it has already been recognised as one of the 25 best shopping malls in India for 2011 by Retailer Magazine. The world-class, one-stop lifestyle destination is the very epitome of its motto: Celebrate Life (Shop, Eat, Play and Unwind), offering seven floors of retail, dining and entertainment options.
"CapitaMalls Asia is committed to growing our presence in India. As the first shopping mall in the city, The Celebration Mall, Udaipur will help meet the under-served retail aspirations and needs of the city's residents and domestic tourists. CapitaMalls Asia will leverage on our experience in developing and managing 95 shopping malls in Singapore, China, Malaysia, Japan and India to deliver a retail and lifestyle destination that will resonate with them," said Kevin Chee, Country Head, India, CapitaMalls Asia.
Grand Plans for a City of Lakes and Palaces
The choice of Udaipur for CapitaMalls Asia's second mall in India is a good one. Udaipur is generally acknowledged to be one of the most romantic cities in the state of Rajasthan in western India. It is famed for its lovely lakes, impressive marble palaces and immaculately landscaped gardens.
Besides being a major tourist attraction, Udaipur is also a major education hub with five universities, 45 colleges, 150 schools and the newly opened Indian Institute of Management. In addition, this fourth largest city in Rajasthan, India's largest state, has the highest per capita income of the state.
"With a consumer base of more than 1.7 million including the surrounding districts, Udaipur is a good location for a mall, and we are pleased to open the first one in the city," said Chee.
The location of The Celebration Mall in Udaipur is equally ideal. Sitting in Bhuwana, about five kilometres from the old city and the famous Lake Palace Hotel and less than two kilometres from Sukhadia circle, a popular Udaipur landmark, this shopping centre could not be more centrally placed. Surrounding the mall is numerous apartments and soon-to-be completed houses. What's more, the mall faces NH8 (National Highway), the city's major development corridor that leads to Srinathji, Ajmer, Jaipur and Delhi. It is also less than a kilometre away from NH76 that leads to Ranakpur, Kumbhalgarh and Jodhpur. All these great transportation links help to channel shopper traffic to The Celebration Mall.
The architects of award-winning The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, [pictured here] were selected to design The Celebration Mall, Udaipur
Photo credit: www.kiwicollection.com
Built for the Future with the Past in Mind
In recognition of Udaipur's long and rich history, The Celebration Mall is built to be the first iconic heritage mall in India. Panika's Parul Zaveri and Nimish Patel who had designed the award winning resort, Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, were hired for the task. Oberoi Udaivilas was voted the top resort in Asia by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine in 2011. The architects drew inspiration for the mall from the rich history of Mewar, a region of Rajasthan in Western India, which focused on structures resplendent with pavilions and decorative domes, and intricate details. To evoke a sense of the majesty of that era, local architectural styles and materials were used.
The exterior of The Celebration Mall, Udaipur, is adorned with intricately carved domes and ethnic architectural finishes
Explaining the decision to go local, Parul and Nimish said, "We believe that regional architecture, local materials and traditional technologies should be promoted not only to generate employment for local artisans and craftsmen, but also to preserve the rich heritage of craftsmanship of centuries."
The Celebration Mall is resplendent with a chandelier in the main atrium
The result is an impressive building that is a unique blend of ethnicity on the outside and modernity within. The mall is adorned with intricately carved domes, ethnic architectural finishes and resplendent with a chandelier in the main atrium.
"The challenge was to build a mall that does justice to the heritage of Rajasthan and a structure that would not look out of place in Udaipur. The Celebration Mall, Udaipur incorporates the rich heritage of the traditional crafts and skills available in and around Udaipur in all its spaces and experiences, making it one of the first contextual retail malls in India," Parul and Nimish added.
Among the Celebration Mall's 144 retail units is Udaipur's first McDonald's outlet
Featuring Many Firsts in Retail Options
To add to its list of many firsts, The Celebration Mall, Udaipur has the city's first McDonald's outlet among its 144 retail units.
Vikram Bakshi, Managing Director, McDonald's India (North & East), said, "We have been looking to enter Udaipur for quite some time but haven't been able to for lack of quality real estate that could fulfill our requirements. The Celebration Mall, Udaipur met all our requirements and presented us with a great opportunity to serve the food lovers of the city. It has solid potential to become the foremost retail destination of the city and its strategic location in city suburbs is clearly advantageous for us."
Also lending their clout to the mall are key anchor tenants such as Bharti Retail Limited's Easyday Market hypermarket and cinema operator PVR Limited, bringing to the city its first multiplex cinema. In addition, there is Reliance Retail Limited's Reliance Trends department store, a gaming arcade and plans for fine dining restaurants, cafes and food kiosks. And the mall is set to unveil more brand names soon.
Thanks to The Celebration Mall, Udaipur, many tenants are making their brand debuts in the city. Giving the city its first taste of retail delights, The Celebration Mall, Udaipur has certainly given the city many reasons to celebrate.