A community mall that will be anchored by the British high street department store House of Fraser is on track to open this year in the capital.
The Mall at World Trade Centre, which is attached to the Central Market souq in Abu Dhabi, is expected to be completed early in the third quarter.
The shopping centre is built in the same architectural style as the souq, but at 60,000 square metres of leasable space, it is significantly larger, with room for about 160 shops
It is part of the wider World Trade Centre development, which includes offices and apartments. Featuring rooftop gardens and linking to Central Market via a bridge, the mall will have anchor stores on each of its four levels.
Spinneys will act as the main tenant on the lower ground floor, with H&M on the first floor, BHS on the second and Grand Cinemas on the third. Other brands include Escada, Ted Baker, Sacoor Brothers and Pandora.
"It's a very typical shopping centre for a community area," said Dave Wallace, the retail mall manager.
"We have a very densely populated area downtown here and I think these people have been waiting for something like this for a long time where you have a department store and you have a grocery store."
House of Fraser, the development's anchor tenant, will occupy three levels.
It will be the first outlet that the upmarket department store has opened outside the United Kingdom and Ireland. "In every retail development, in this part of the world especially, it is difficult to find anchor tenants that are unique or different," said Mr Wallace.
"This is a breakthrough because there are very few shopping centres that have something unique like this unless it is a home-grown type of brand," he added.
Patrick Bell, the director of development for World Trade Centre at Aldar, said House of Fraser complemented the mall's target audience and would introduce luxury brands to the capital.
"The strength of the mall as I see it is the retail mix within a very unique environment.
"The location of this plays to those strengths. It's right in the centre of town in the heart of Abu Dhabi.
"It picks up a lot of the high density area of the north island but it is also very close to some expatriate and local populations in Al Bateen and certainly mid-island."
The Galleria, a new luxury shopping centre on Al Maryah Island, is also slated to open in August.
However, they will be followed by three "mega malls" in Abu Dhabi, the first of which, Yas Mall, is due to open early next year. The District, a large mall on Saadiyat Island and Sowwah Central, on Al Maryah, will follow in 2017.
"I think the malls coming through will challenge some of the older malls that we have in Abu Dhabi," said Mr Bell.
"The architecture is becoming more important and I think these modern malls will create architectural interest that excites people to go to them.
"I think we have created a very strong external and internal architecture that will get people in that area using World Trade Centre, and not just for retail, but the residences and the office workers."