x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

‘World-class’ souq to be built in Abu Dhabi

The traditional souq would be built between the Sheikh Zayed and Al Maqtaa bridges and will transform the city of Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Municipality unveils its vision for a world class souk that will help transform the city by enhancing its rich cultural heritage for both the local community as well as international visitors. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Municipality
Abu Dhabi Municipality unveils its vision for a world class souk that will help transform the city by enhancing its rich cultural heritage for both the local community as well as international visitors. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Municipality

ABU DHABI // Plans for a "world class" souq that will enhance the city's cultural heritage were announced yesterday.

The venue will help transform the city and appeal to citizens, residents and visitors, Abu Dhabi Municipality said as it unveiled its vision for the project.

The traditional souq would be built between the Sheikh Zayed and Al Maqtaa bridges.

The project would also link to Khalifa Park and Sheikh Zayed Mosque - two of Abu Dhabi's biggest attractions, a statement said.

The 150,000-square-metre venue will include a modern waterfront, a traditional retail souq, food, entertainment and leisure outlets, and an open-air performance space.

It is one of a number of community-led investments and developments launched by the municipality's investment office as part of a plan to improve amenities for residents and tourism offerings.

"This is in support of the Abu Dhabi Government's vision to make the nation's capital an attractive place to live, work and visit by building a safe, secure and sustainable society," a statement said.

"The municipality will act as a catalyst for building a prosperous future for the city and its people.

"The community-centric municipal projects will be delivered through integration with the private sector to ensure best-in-class standards and efficient services."

The souq is one of a number of development and investment projects that will be built through public-private partnerships.

Last month, The National reported a Dh3 billion plan to build 40 community centres around Abu Dhabi with private investment.

Officials said no public funding would be allocated and the centres would be built on a build-operate-transfer model. Work is expected to begin this year on 20 centres.

The municipality said it would soon invite tenders from developers for the souq and four community centres.

ecleland@thenational.ae