The opening date of the much-anticipated Yas Mall on Yas Island, which will be the country's second biggest mall, has been set.
Aldar sets opening date for Abu Dhabi's Yas Mall
The UAE's second-largest shopping centre is scheduled to open on March 26 next year, when the much-anticipated Yas Mall welcomes its first shoppers.
Only The Dubai Mall will be bigger than the vast development that is taking shape on Yas Island.
"With a lot of stores we are doing the first in Abu Dhabi or the first in the region. In some instances where they already exist, what they are opening in Yas Mall is a flagship store," said Talal Al Dhiyebi, the director of planning and infrastructure at Aldar, the mall's developer.
Construction is 78 per cent complete and ahead of schedule, he said.
About 63 per cent of the 235,000 square metre floor space has been rented out, with an additional 18 per cent subject to advanced negotiations.
The mall will include the largest Nike, adidas, H&M and Zara stores in the region, plus the first Brooks Brothers outlet in Abu Dhabi, which will also be the biggest in the Middle East.
The cinema, which will have 16 to 20 screens, will be the largest in Abu Dhabi.
"We are looking a having a very unique experience in the cinema, so not only your traditional seat and watch, but to look at some different kinds of seating, some family gatherings and group settings," said Mr Al Dhiyebi.
The mall will also feature two department stores, one of which will be aimed at the luxury end, with the other targeted at mid-market.
"We haven't announced them yet. We are very close," added Fred Douglas, the director of retail leasing at Aldar.
The mall, which will be bigger than Mall of the Emirates, will feature 10,000 car parking spaces. At the peak of construction, 10,000 people worked on the project, which used 33,000 kilometres of reinforcement bars - about the same distance as a round trip between Abu Dhabi and New York and then back to New York.