Mall of the Emirates : the energy challenge

One of the most frequented shopping malls in the world, “Mall of the Emirates” houses the largest indoor leisure park in the Middle East, a cinema complex and even… a winter sports resort! Its energy performance contract – likewise extraordinary – is managed by Enova, a joint-venture between Majid Al Futtaim Ventures and Veolia.
The essential
Guaranteeing Mall of the Emirates’ long-term energy performance
Provide continuous air conditioning and high air quality for the mall ; Increase the profitability and competitiveness of running the mall ; Improve the operator’s environmental performance and eco-friendly image
Veolia's response
Enova implements energy-efficient operation and maintenance solutions ; Enova operates the cooling equipment ; Enova manages a smart control center that boosts responsiveness and performance
Published in the dossier of July 2017

Anne Le Gennec, directrice générale d’Enova

Mall of the Emirates is the region’s first shopping resort and flagship luxury destination. Home to more than 630 international stores, over 100 restaurants and cafés and a unique family leisure offering, it is highly prized by tourists, locals and expat residents, a large multicultural population in this emirate. It is an iconic location showcasing the expertise of the firm Majid Al Futtaim, concurrently the owner, developer and operator of this monumental construction. This company owns twenty other malls in the region and is continuing its expansion. “The atmosphere in these shopping malls is very distinctive; you find it at each of the sites. This firm has a very clear vision of the types of shops and attractions located in them, in line with the expected clientele,” highlights Anne Le Guennec, Enova’s CEO. However, satisfying the 42 million visitors who stroll through this exceptional setting spanning over 255,000 sqm of retail space demands a powerful cooling machine behind the scenes that is reliable and above all extremely energy efficient. In Dubai, the outside temperature during the day borders on 50°C at the height of summer. Inside the mall, customers enjoy not only a mild and stable temperature all year round, but also superior indoor air quality, all of which creates a pleasant and healthy environment. Majid Al Futtaim bases its economic model on the well-being of its customers, as is illustrated by the company’s slogan: “Creating Great Moments for Everyone, Everyday”.

Enova, a subsidiary for long-term resource preservation

Francisco Silvério Marques - Business Development & Marketing Director, Enova

“In Dubai, energy efficiency requires flexibility and a rapid response”

“In Dubai, energy loss is much more likely to come from poor use of cooling equipment than an insulation defect. The buildings’ design and the material used during the construction are rather well adapted to the climate; cooling equipment and its control, however, may be inefficient and may lead to energy loss. A shopping mall like Mall of the Emirates, a public building with a large number of visitors, has a substantial energy cost. It is worth remembering that all the chilled water used to cool the mall is produced on site, and that the ‘fresh’ air outside, which is used to renew the air inside on a regular basis to allow for immaculate air quality, is at a very high temperature of 40°C on average in summer! To be able to keep the ambient temperature at a constant 23-24°C as per our contractual commitment, we have to react extremely quickly to change and modify the settings of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment accordingly. We operate and maintain 16 chillers, each weighing 1,000 metric tons, and a 5-km cooling circuit, which is equivalent to a real urban cooling system! Thanks to actionable data provided by Hubgrade, our operational teams adjust this equipment in real time to reduce energy consumption a little more each day, to support Majid Al Futtaim in its Net Positive Commitment set for 2040.”

More :
> Hubgrade, Veolia’s smart monitoring solution

This focus led to Majid Al Futtaim creating a joint venture — Enova ¬— with Veolia in 2002 to implement a pioneering quality and sustainability policy compatible with these kinds of key projects. Enova has been supporting the development of the Group’s assets ever since. “It’s more a co-construction approach than only a partnership that drives us. Together we develop the contracts in line with the projects chosen by Majid Al Futtaim,” continues the CEO. Before Mall of the Emirates opened its doors in 2005, Enova had already been involved in drawing up the project. It was then tasked with guaranteeing the operational and energy performance commitments stipulated in the contract. “Guaranteeing results and a long-term strategy are two key concepts when it comes to energy savings,” states Francisco Silvério Marques, Enova’s Business Development & Marketing Director. In April 2017, the lifestyle conglomerate raised its ambitions with its “Net Positive” commitment (Read the interview), which consists in significantly further reducing its energy and water consumption as well as carbon emissions to the point of becoming net positive* by 2040.

Energy performance in three steps

Enova has developed its contracts in sync with the deployment of Majid Al Futtaim’s environmental strategy. “We initially had facility management contracts covering the company’s real estate, which in some cases also included energy consumption control. Today, we are adding performance contracts with a view to saving water and energy,” concludes Anne Le Guennec.

Enova rolls out the contracts in three stages: first, an audit characterizes the building’s energy behavior, then identifies the actions to be carried out. A host of key parameters are taken into consideration, ranging from the outdoor temperature through the center’s opening hours to the distinctive features of the attractions, such as the ski slope (see boxed text) or movie theaters. “Our vision of energy performance takes energy and water consumption equally into account. The same plants supply these two resources and our performance contracts are positioned downstream of the meters to be able to capture the building’s consumption as a whole,” explains Enova’s Business Development Director. The measures decided upon during the previous step are implemented “within the same contract, so that their effectiveness can be thoroughly controlled by our teams,” he continues. The data is sent to Enova’s Hubgrade, the center that controls and manages the building’s energy efficiency in real time, which has been operational since 2014. Last but not least, the site’s long-term operation and maintenance complete the service package.

Guarantees for the customer’s benefit

To provide customers frequenting Majid Al Futtaim’s establishments with all the comfort necessary for their well-being, Enova’s energy performance and water management contracts offer three levels of guarantee: contractual, financial and technical. Experience has since shown that anticipating the technical solutions to be implemented is crucial to be able to meet these high standards. “Choosing the right methods, recruiting competent people and acquiring effective tools allow us to achieve the required objectives,” summarizes Francisco Silvério Marques.

The mall was expanded by 36,000 sqm in Fall 2015. Alongside flagship stores such as Dubai’s first Apple Store, the VOX Cinemas movie theater is at the heart of this extension: 24 laser screens, an auditorium, birthday rooms and four “ThEATre” screens, where the food menu in the theater has been designed by Michelin-starred chef, Gary Rhodes, radically transform the moviegoing experience. The cinema is flanked by four restaurants offering the flavors of the world, in which you can dine in the cool and savor the gentle breeze. An energy-efficient illusion created by the conditioned air.


> Shopping centres: reconciling attractiveness and environmental footprint


*A net positive building is one that produces more resources than it consumes.