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Construction starts on $1.2bn Reem Mall's Snow Park in Abu Dhabi

Pascall + Watson reveals Snow Park update days after big data-inspired retail strategy unveiled for Abu Dhabi megaproject

Reem Mall is under construction in Abu Dhabi.
Pascall + Watson
Reem Mall is under construction in Abu Dhabi.

Construction work has started on the 1.1ha Snow Park within Abu Dhabi’s Reem Mall, a $1.2bn (AED4.4bn) project at Reem Island’s Najmat District that will comprise 450 shops when it opens in late-2020.

UK practice Pascall + Watson, which has delivered architectural design services for Snow Park, said site works have started for the “unusual leisure destination”.

The design firm said in a project update on its website that Snow Park’s design is themed on “a snow-covered enchanted forest, and delivers experiences such as sledging, zorbing, and zip-lining across several distinct zones”.

Reem Mall revealed earlier this year that a 2,140m2 e-commerce logistics hub will be developed within the retail facility to “make it the world’s first fully digitally enabled smart shopping centre”.

Snow Park is currently under construction [© Reem Mall].

Big data will be “at the heart of this transformation”, with Reem Mall planning to use technology to deliver sales, improve customer journeys, and provide personalised services based on shopping behaviours and preference.

Commenting on the digital focus at the Retail Leaders Circle Mena Summit in Dubai, Shane Eldstrom, chief executive officer of Al Farwaniya Property Developments – which is backing Reem Mall – said: “Our industry-defining strategy leverages the full potential of digital products and technologies, supported by [an] integrated logistics hub, with capacity to deliver 30,000 parcels per day.

“This new direction is not only reshaping the way a mall operates, but changing the way customers experience our space in a social, cultural, and community context.”

Al Farwaniya Property Developments is a partnership between Kuwaiti companies Agility; its affiliate United Projects for Aviation Services Co; and National Real Estate Company.

Retailers such as Carrefour, Majid Al Futtaim, Landmark Group, and Azadea Group and popular brands like Virgin Megastore, Home Centre, Centrepoint, Stradivarius, Adidas, Ecco, Steve Madden, Bershka, and Eataly will all have a presence at the mall. Sharaf DG will anchor Reem Mall with its largest outlet in Abu Dhabi.

In March 2019, Reem Mall revealed that its interiors are divided into three zones, the first of which is Mangrove Atrium.

Pascall + Watson has designed Snow Park [© Reem Mall].

This area forms “the central axis” of Reem Mall, according to the project’s team, and is aligned with “a viewing corridor that reaches out to the nearby Najmat Marina, creating a visual link to the ocean”.

Urban Façade and Mall is the second zone, located on the mall’s south. Reem Mall said the hub is “inspired by crystals” and will feature textures “emerging and building up from the ground”.

On the north side of the mall is Zone 3, named Dynamic Façade and Mall, which Reem Mall said is “inspired by the vast sea flats, or sabkha” inspired by the history of Abu Dhabi.

Reem Mall’s team will use panels within Dynamic Façade and Mall to “give the building a distinctive modern identity”, introducing dramatic angles for the hub’s materials and layout. 

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