British expatriates missing a taste of home will be checking out the capital's first Waitrose supermarket, which opened yesterday at Sun and Sky Towers on Reem Island.
The developer Sorouh Real Estate is increasing its retail investment, and the new store is expected to become a major competitor to other chains in the capital such as Lulu and Spinneys.
"It is long overdue because Abu Dhabi is a multicultural city," said Sarah Gaye, a media librarian in Abu Dhabi. "It will be interesting if they maintain the healthy organic concept here and bring in fruit and vegetable products from Khalifa City."
Chris Moore, a British expatriate who lives on Reem Island, said he was looking forward to visiting the supermarket after work yesterday after peering through the windows in recent weeks. "It looks very big, you can see a delicatessen section. I intend to go tonight," he said yesterday.
Sorouh's shopping arm, Boutik, is due to roll out 50 shopping outlets - food and beverage offerings including La Brioche Cafe and Yogen Früz - and banks and more at its flagship Sun and Sky Towers development on Reem Island.
"We have been careful in selecting a diverse mix of retail elements that cater to the needs of our residents," Rajeev Lee, Sorouh's retail director in Abu Dhabi, said yesterday.
Other Sorouh developments in the emirate are scheduled to have a similar retail mix.
"An attractive retail mix plays a very important role in the lifestyle experience and in the development of a vibrant community," said Mr Lee.
Sorouh plans this year to open Boutik Al Ain, a shopping mall with a Carrefour hypermarket in the centre of the oasis city.
The residential developments Al Rayyana, near Abu Dhabi Golf Club, and Alghadeer, on the border with Dubai, are also to have Boutik shopping centres.
Last month, Sorouh appointed the law firm Clifford Chance and the financial services firm Morgan Stanley to advise on the due diligence process towards a potential merger with the capital's largest developer, Aldar Properties.
The combined entity would create a company worth more than US$15 billion (Dh55.09bn).