DUBAI, APRIL 30 – It is far richer than Dubai, nonetheless Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, is still strongly dependent on the minor Emirate when it comes to shopping. Especially luxury shopping. This however seems to be a trend which is destined to change, both in quality as in quantity, if we look at the plans for commercial construction which are on the go in Abu Dhabi.
The current 700.000 sqm of stores will double in the next three years, according to a study by DTZ, a company which specialises in international real estate. The plan seems to challenge the rate of Dubai’s growth, a boom which saw it expand its shopping areas of 60% since 2005. Nor apparently will this new construction plan be lacking in grandeur. Yas Mall will be second only to Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping centres in the world with its 520 stores and its spectacular attractions.
As the name suggests, it will be raised on Yas Island, the atoll which already hosts the Ferrari Park and super luxury hotels, and part of a bigger plan which will see the island as a destination for classy entertainment.
There are also other commercial projects on the horizon. The Gallery, which opens in 15 months, is being built on Al Maryah Island, the new financial district which will host luxury executive hotels other than the new Stock Exchange. Then Boutike, a ”conceptual” shopping mall dedicated entirely to high fashion brands, products and accessories.
Luxury shopping isn’t the only the focus for these three malls, it is also the main philosophy for yet another three malls which should be opened by the end of the year: Pragon Bay on Reem Island, Capital Mall in Zayed City, Abu Dhabi’s new diplomatic and governmental district, and Deerfields Town Squares in Al Bahia.
With an annual expenditure of 3.5 billion euro, Abu Dhabi is no doubt trying to follow in Dubai’s footsteps, the third city in the world for luxury brands (85%) after London and Hong Kong. More info