Yas Mall's landscape became a little bit clearer after one of the region's biggest retailers, Alshaya Group, yesterday announced the 42 stand-alone brands it would bring to the capital's newest mall.
The group said its investment would create 2,000 jobs, mainly sales assistants and would represent Alshaya's single biggest opening on one day, it said, but declined to give the exact day. The 235,00 square-metre mall will open before the Formula 1 weekend on November 21st.
The mall will feature 400 shops from 370 brands, said Talal Al Dhiyebi, the executive director of asset management at Aldar Properties, the operator.
Industry sources said that Alshaya, which operates 2,600 stores across the Middle East and North Africa, Russia, Turkey and Europe, has up to 15 more brands within Yas Mall's department stores. Out of the 42 outlets the retailer listed yesterday, Pottery Barn Teen and Icing are the first in the country. The fashion brands Muji, West Elm, Jo Malone and River Island will be the capital's first stores.
F&B outlets such as Texas Roadhouse and The Cheesecake Factory will also operate in Abu Dhabi for the first time.
The mall is expecting 20 million visitors in its first year, bringing in more than 50,000 people a day, and Aldar is banking on a 15 per cent to 20 per cent annual increase in retail sales across the U.A.E. to sustain business.
"There is a lot of resident population around us with massive communities,” said Mr Al Dhiyebi.
"At Al Raha Beach Aldar has over 3,000 residential units that are over 97 per cent occupied. In Khalifa City we have again 4,000 to 5,000 residential units, which are again nearly totally occupied. These residential communities will be supporting us significantly through the week. Our tourist numbers are growing and we are part of the 2030 vision. ”
Attractions will include a 20-screen Vox cinema, the region's largest department store at 200,000 square feet, an "edutainment” concept store, direct access to the Ferrari World theme park and the country's first Lego concept store.
For the second quarter of this year Aldar reported net profit of Dh506m, driven by unit handovers and a 45 per cent growth in recurring revenues across its property portfolio, including a faster-than-expected lease-up at its Al Rayyana development.
Source: The National