India’s biggest shopping centre and one of Asia’s largest, the LuLu Shopping Mall, has opened in Kochi. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated the mall at Edappally on Sunday, March 10, 2013. The CM also unveiled a plaque to commemorate the grand opening. V. S. Achuthanandan, the Leader of the Opposition, was the chief guest of the event. Union Minister Vayalar Ravi and UAE Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikh Abdulla Al Saleh were the guests of honour.
Union Minister Prof. K. V. Thomas launched the LuLu Loyalty Card, and the State Minister for Industries and IT P. K. Kunhalikkutty launched the LuLu Mall website. T. K. A. Nair, advisor to the Prime Minister of India, launched the mall guide. LuLu Group Managing Director M. A. Yusuff Ali welcomed the gathering, and Executive Director M. A. Ashraf Ali rendered the vote of thanks.
LuLu Mall is a 2.5 million sq ft complex in 17 acres of land and spread over three levels. The mall is complete with a full line of amenities and facilities, including a well-equipped food court serving international cuisines, coffee shops, money exchange, dine-in outlets, a 22,000 sq ft entertainment zone, a 5,000 sq ft ice rink (the first of its kind in South India), prayer halls, and baby-care centre.
The shopping mall was built on an investment of INR 1,600 crore. Parking facility is available for 3,000 cars at a time. Well-placed escalators, elevators, travelators, and walkways make it easy for shoppers, diners, and fun lovers to get from one point of the mall to another. The Marriott, a 300-room hotel, is also situated in the mall. The first McDonalds outlet in Kerala is also housed in the mall.
The mall is located at a prime location in Edappally—at the intersection of the NH 47, the NH 17, and the Kochi by-pass. It is within easy reach of almost all the landmarks and prominent facilities in Kochi, including the Cochin International Airport and railway stations.
The mall, which will feature the widest choice of world-class brands at the fairest prices, is expected to generate 8,000 direct jobs and more than 20,000 indirect job opportunities. A special area has been allocated to promote Kerala products and handicrafts.
LuLu Hypermarket, LuLu Celebrate, LuLu Connect, Westside, and PVR Cinemas are the anchor stores of the mall. Nine cinema screens with a total capacity of 2,250 seats will be opened in the mall in early April. The mall also has a 5-D cinema hall, bowling alleys, water rides, and electronic games, in addition to ATMs, money exchange counters, pharmacy, travel and holiday desk, and a Federal Bank branch.
This mall is definitely another feather on the cap to the rapidly growing Kochi. Known as the commercial capital of Kerala, Kochi is already an IT hotspot in the world map.