x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Long wait now coming to end

Mall owner says announcement will revitalise his business.

RAS AL KHAIMAH // Al Naeem Mall has sat empty and dark in downtown RAK for two years.

For Ahmed al Naeem, the mall owner, the Dh5.7 billion announcement is not just a business solution, but also an answer to a personal request.

He said his Dh750 million mall has lost an estimated Dh200,000 in business since its completion. Two of his four apartments in RAK run on generators that cost Dh150,000 a month to rent and operate. The other two sit empty. He had permits that guaranteed electricity for all of them when he began building in 2006, before the energy crisis hit.

Mr al Naeem made a personal plea to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to address the energy crisis on his recent tour of the Northern Emirates.

"I spoke freely to him and he said: 'Soon, we will take care of all the problems you are facing. As soon as possible, we will look after you and all the emirates together'."

Mr al Naeem was not expecting his request to be answered quite so soon.

"It is a shock for everybody," he said. "They are waiting for it for a long time."