Aldar Properties is close to selecting the main contractors for building Yas Mall, a glitzy shopping centre planned for the heart of Yas Island.
"The final bids for the main construction contract have been received and the announcement of the chosen contractors will be made very soon," the Abu Dhabi developer said in its latest online brochure about its projects.
In anticipation of the main construction of the mall, piling works are in progress, said the company.
Accommodating more than 400 stores, including hypermarkets, restaurants, a food court, a multiplex cinema and a family entertainment centre, Yas Mall adds another dimension to the leisure destination under development in the capital.
Retailers such as Ace, the hardware chain, and the supermarket group Geant have opted to open stores on the site.
But the realities of the global financial slowdown have taken their toll on the plans. The size of the mall has already been downsized from 300,000 square metres to 235,000 sq metres, Aldar said in March. The amount of leasable space now stands at 230,000 sq metres, Aldar said in the brochure.
The reassesment of the project means the mall will not be ready for shoppers until 2013 instead of next year.
Abu Dhabi is on track to have among the largest amount of shopping centre retail space per capita in the world, and to surpass Dubai, where the bulk of the retail developments in the Emirates has been concentrated, according to the property broker Cushman & Wakefield.
Final design changes to Yas Mall were being agreed with the relevant authorities, the Aldar brochure said. The company began reworking the design of Yas Mall last year.
Other projects on the island moved ahead last year. Ferrari World, the world's largest indoor theme park, which is based on the Italian sportscar brand, officially opened in November. Ikea in March opened a store next door to the Yas Mall site.
Work is also progressing on Yas Water Park, another attraction on the island, Aldar said. Foundations were being laid for three of the 40 rides and attractions within the Dh604 million (US$164m) park, the brochure said.
The construction firm Alec has been signed as the main contractor, with design approval for the project received in July.