A new 2.5 million square feet mega mall has risen up in Abu Dhabi and placed the capital city in competition with its neighbor, Dubai.The mall is located on Yas Island and due to open during November. It will offer visitors a family entertainment zone, 20-screen cinema and in excess of 370 stores, including the largest Adidas, Nike and Zara stores in the Middle East, and the first Cheesecake Factory in Abu Dhabi.
This new construction is a push by the city to attract international visitors, along with those from the UAE, Abu Dhabi, the GCC and further afield. The owners are aware that one third of the global population lives within an eight-hour flight from the UAE, which has already become established as a retail hub. The difference, however, with Yas Mall is that it is placed on Yas Island which allows the mall owners to sell an overall leisure and entertainment view of its offerings, which is what international consumers want – a destination with a complete package.
As regards competition with Dubai Mall, the executive director of asset management at Aldar Properties, Talal al-Dhiyebi, said Abu Dhabi has experienced a gap in the provision of a mall of this stature and Yas Mall will now fill that gap. They are determined to gain market share.
The central area of the mall, the Town Square, offers the largest enclosed meeting space in a shopping center within the Middle East. Shoppers will be offered a 60000ft² children’s play area, and an area where teams can compete in videogame scenes.
The developers are maintaining a green guideline by the use of durable regionally sourced materials.
27 OCTOBER 2014, United Arab Emirates