x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Nakheel signs up British royal grocer Waitrose for Palm Jumeirah mall

Nakheel has signed up a supermarket with a royal warrant to supply groceries to the Queen as the first anchor tenant for its upcoming mall on the Palm Jumeirah.

Nakheel Mall on Palm Jumeirah aerial view. Picture courtesy of Nakheel
Nakheel Mall on Palm Jumeirah aerial view. Picture courtesy of Nakheel

Nakheel Properties has signed up a British grocer, a supplier to the royal family, as the first anchor tenant for its upcoming mall on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah.

Waitrose, the food division of upmarket retailer John Lewis, already has six supermarkets in the UAE, including branches in Dubai Mall and Reem Island in the capital.

It will occupy a 4,200-square-metre space in Nakheel Mall, a retail, dining and entertainment complex that is due to open in 2016.

The mall will also feature more than 300 stores, a nine-screen cinema and six medical clinics. There will be five floors, three parking levels with 4,000 lots, a 1,000-square-metre indoor garden, and a 180-metre high viewing deck with panoramic views of Palm Jumeirah and Dubai’s skyline. A 50-storey, five-star hotel will also be built alongside the mall.

“Waitrose is obviously a high-end brand and it fits with the retail portfolio that we are seeking for Nakheel Mall,” said Rebecca Rees, a Nakheel Mall spokeswoman.

“At the moment there is no main supermarket on the Palm,” said Colette Shannon, a spokeswoman for Fine Fare Food Market, which operates Waitrose stores in the Middle East.

“[Nakheel Mall is] an amazing mall in terms of the whole look and feel of it. There’s a metro going straight into it and we are quite excited about the project. We felt that Waitrose was the right brand for the residents on the Palm.”

Dubai developer Nakheel issued a tender this week to build the Dh2.5 billion shopping centre, which will be located at the top of the trunk on the Palm.

Ground preparation and piling work has already started at the site.

Nakheel has so far signed up around 30 tenants for the mall and is in negotiations for two anchor department stores and the cinema.

“We are delighted to welcome Waitrose to Nakheel Mall, which will create a focal point for Palm Jumeirah and bring a new dimension to shopping, dining and leisure in Dubai,” said Ali Rashid Lootah, the chairman of Nakheel.

“It will enhance the services and facilities for residents of The Palm, and provide an exciting new destination for people across the UAE, including the millions of tourists who visit each year,” he said.

gduncan@thenational.ae