x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Neighbourhood news in brief

Jones the Grocer's Khalidiya branch is scheduled to open this weekend, while Mushrif Mall sets April as its opening date.

Marina is Dubai's biggest hit

Dubai Marina is the most popular search area for renters, according to a report by the website propertyfinder.ae.

More than 18 per cent of searches among would-be buyers and renters in the fourth quarter of 2010 were for Marina apartments, with Jumeirah Lake Towers the second most popular. Most of those searching were looking for properties costing Dh100,000 or less, with two-bedroom units most in demand. Almost no one was looking for a studio, and enquiries for properties at more than Dh200,000 were also almost nonexistent. Dubai Silicon Oasis, International City and Dubai Land were the least popular search areas.

Dubai Marina also came out top for searches in the sales market, said the report, with the majority of searches targeted properties at Dh1million or under. Next came Palm Jumeirah, with 12 per cent of searches, and least popular were Jumeirah, The Lakes and Green Community. Less than 600 propertyfinder.ae transactions were completed in Dubai last year, down from more than 1,200 in the same period in 2009.


Jones the Grocer opens in Khalidiya

Jones the Grocer is expected to open its second branch in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

Situated in the Khalidiya neighbourhood, on the ground floor of the Pearl Plaza building next to the Oryx Hotel, the new premises are due to open today and will have many of the same features as the company's flagship branch in Al Muroor, including a gourmet grocery and deli counter, in-store bakery, takeaway service and cheese room.

The Australian-owned restaurant has proved a popular addition to the capital's dining scene since its opened its first UAE branch in June 2009. The company has also announced that a third Abu Dhabi branch will open at the Al Raha Beach Mall next month - further evidence of the development of amenities in the areas serving the Al Raha and Al Bandar neighbourhoods. Spinneys opened its first supermarket at Al Bandar in November.

A spokeswoman for Jones the Grocer also confirmed that the company's first branch in Dubai, in premises located opposite Times Square Center, is due for completion in April.


Mushrif Mall overcomes final delays

Abu Dhabi's Mushrif Mall is finally expected to open in April, a spokesman for the developers, Line Investments and Property, said this week.

The 180,000-square-metre shopping centre, located on Airport Road close to 25th Street, was originally due to open in April 2010, but delays in construction and recent problems with roadworks near the entrance have meant that the complex is only now due for completion.

The mall will house more than 200 shops, the capital's biggest fresh produce market and a range of food court outlets, restaurants and cafes, including a branch of the Canadian coffee shop chain Tim Hortons.

The anchor store will be a Lulu Hypermarket, which will provide a welcome alternative for residents in the southeast of the capital who often struggle to find a parking space at the Airport Road branch of Carrefour, currently the only large supermarket in the area.

Retail industry analysts agree that Abu Dhabi has a shortage of shopping facilities, although retail space in the capital is expected to double by 2015.