Yas Mall delay decision revealed
New November date explained as 'strategic move'
Developer Aldar Properties has said that its decision to delay the opening of its flagship Yas Mall centre by nine months is a strategic move, as opposed to being linked to any construction delays.
The company, which had said in June last year that it was planning an opening for 26 March, announced last week that it now planned to open the 235,000m2 mall during the weekend of the final Grand Prix of the 2014 F1 season at Yas Island on 23 November.
"It is the ideal time - when 500m viewers will have their eyes on Abu Dhabi," Aldar Properties' executive director of asset management, Talal Al Dhiyebi, told Construction Week.
"Basically, where we are is that construction has moved relatively well and the asset is now complete," he said, adding that it was being transferred from Aldar Properties' construction division to its operations arm.
"Provisionally, the strategy was to have a softer opening at around March-April time, with the tenants to open throughout 2014."
However, he said this meant some tenants were scheduled to open throughout the summer period and the holy month of Ramadan, which "was not ideal".
After discussing strategy with the main retail groups - some of whom have taken 20-30 units in the centre - the decision was taken to open at the later date when all 300-plus stores are scheduled to be complete and fitted out.
Yas Mall is Abu Dhabi's first 'super-regional' mall and will be the second-biggest in the UAE on opening. It is being built by contractor Six Construct.