Gulf Related breaks ground on $1.4bn Al Maryah Central in Abu Dhabi

Work begins on shopping centre in Al Maryah Island, slated for completion in 2018

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Construction work has begun on Al Maryah Central, a 2.3 million sq. ft. shopping centre being developed by Gulf Related at the Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi.

Scheduled to open in March 2018, the shopping mall will be part of a 3.1 million sq. ft. mixed-use development that will include retail space along with a luxury hotel and residential towers.

The mall will also be home to the first Macy’s department store outside the US, along with Abu Dhabi’s first Bloomingdale’s.

Gulf Related, the developer behind the project, is a joint venture between Gulf Capital, an asset management company, and Related Companies, a US-based real estate development and investment firm.

“Al Maryah Central will introduce new and exciting retail offerings, such as Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, and family entertainment concepts to Abu Dhabi’s Central Business District and surrounding catchment areas. When combined with The Galleria on Al Maryah Island both developments will create a 2.9 million square foot waterfront retail shopping destination,” said Karim El Solh, Co-Managing Partner of Gulf Related and CEO of Gulf Capital.

The Al Maryah Central mall will be linked with the existing Galleria shopping centre via a bridge.

“Al Maryah Central came about because of the enormous success and the demand from the Galleria,” said Kenneth A. Himmel, co-managing partner of Gulf Related and President and CEO of Related Urban, the mixed-use development division of Related Companies.

“We actually had an unmet demand. We finished leasing the Galleria, we had something like 400,000 sq. feet of retailers we had no place to put,” Himmel told Big Project ME at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Al Maryah Central.

“In order to meet this demand, the developers “rezoned the island to take a major shopping centre,” Himmel added.

“I do a lot of business with Macy’s and Bloomingdales in the US, so we together convinced them to do the first Macy’s store outside the United States, which I think is going to be spectacular,” Himmel said, commenting on the partnership with the iconic department stores.

“Macy’s is very popular in the US, and it’s got a price point. It’s quality value-driven, very promotional, with lots of great brands.”

The Al Maryah Island is a 114-hectare mixed-use project in Abu Dhabi, planned and developed by Mubadala Development Company.

The island includes other properties such as the Rosewood Abu Dhabi, an upcoming Four Seasons Hotel, office and residential space, as well as the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.


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