Finishing touches to Yas Mall for November opening
Construction now complete after a nine-month delay
Yas Mall is almost ready to open following a nine-month delay.
The 2.5mn ft2 shopping complex on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, will be home to 370 stores, 60 food and drink outlets, a 20-screen cinema which includes a 24 metre-wide screen, a food court, a family entertainment zone and a spa.
The main units of the mall are spread across two levels, with a hypermarket and service outlets such as banks on the lower ground floor, and it has four multi-storey car parks.
The concept of the mall is to offer an outdoor experience, inside, and its wide avenues, glass ceilings, and the abundance of plants and trees certainly nod to nature.
“There is a lot of natural light in the mall but at the same time it doesn’t feel warm. The whole idea is it’s an outdoor mall in an indoor setting,” said Talal Al Dhiyebi, executive director of asset management at Aldar Properties PJSC
“It gives you that urban feel when you’re in the mall.”
Yas Mall has a direct connection to Ferrari World, the world’s largest indoor theme park, a design aspect which aims to help make Yas Island an entertainment destination.
“So it’s a seamless connection between the theme park and the mall, so together, [Yas Island] is set to become one of the largest retail and leisure destinations in the world,” added Al Dhiyebi.
The mall is one of Yas Island’s latest additions and will join Yas Links golf course, Ferrari World, Yas Beach private beach club and Yas Waterworld.
“The evolution of the island will continue as we build this great destination, but the mall is the missing part of the puzzle within this destination,” said Al Dhiyebi.
Al Dhiyebi says he is confident that the mall’s partners will see returns on their investments quickly.
“We’re expecting to exceed 20mn [visitors] in the first year. We’ve seen a lot of demand,” he said.
“Retailers are very cautious when they go out and invest in space. [But] all of them have come in, done their research and discussed this with brands, and they’ve made the investment.
“We’ve had more demand than we could accommodate. So definitely, the retailers will make a return on their investment. We’re very confident of that.”
But how can he be so confident when there is already no shortage of shopping malls in Abu Dhabi and Dubai?
“Competition is healthy,” he said. “As per the latest statistics done by JLL and other research houses, the UAE has established itself as this retail hub, and we’ve seen year on year increases of 15-20% in terms of the number sales across the UAE.
“Abu Dhabi has had a gap in terms of a mall of this size with this offer so Yas Mall will fit that gap perfectly and complete that Yas destination.”
Only the shop fit outs remain to be complete before the mall is opened.
“The construction is complete and the building has been handed over. Right now we have the operational teams and the marketing teams with their pre-opening campaigns and the work that you see around you is all tenant-related work, so the tenants are preparing their stores their shop fronts, decorations, and merchandising," said Al
“Those are the last things that need to happen.”
An exact date is yet to be set, but the mall is tipped to open the same weekend as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which runs from 21-23November.