Yas Mall, set to be Abu Dhabi's largest shopping centre, is already 40 per cent leased two years ahead of launch in 2013.
Yas Mall signs up five big names
Five retail heavyweights have given their stamp of approval to Yas Mall, signing up to 40 per cent of the leasing space more than two years ahead of the planned opening.
MH Alshaya, Landmark Group, Dubai Holding Group, Royal Sporting House and Liwa Trading have all signed up to the Dh2 billion mall, which is likely to have 235,000 square metres of retail space when it opens in the fourth quarter of 2013.
"There's a lack of supply of good retail in Abu Dhabi. We are building a quality experience because it is not just any conventional shopping centre," said Mohammed Al Mubarak, deputy chief executive of Aldar Properties, the mall's developer.
These five retailers are the partner or franchisee for many popular brands in the Middle East and the agreement to rent space in the mall indicates a vote of confidence for Yas Mall.
Kuwait-based MH Alshaya, which has more than 55 brands across the region and Turkey, will bring to the mall: Starbucks, H&M, Topshop, Next, Boots and Pottery Barn, among others.
"For us, what Abu Dhabi has been missing is a regional shopping mall," said John Hadden, senior vice president of retail property at Alshaya. "Aldar has put the vision to plan and developed a mall that will dominate retail for years to come."
Landmark Group will bring many of its brands, which are predominantly homegrown, such as Max, Centrepoint, Home Centre and Emax .
Other brands that will be in the mall include both BHS and Debenhams department stores, Calvin Klein, Ted Baker, Zara and food outlets such as PF Changs, Carluccios and pinkberry.