Residents have given a thumbs-up to news that a long-awaited mall will finally open this month - meaning they no longer have to travel to Abu Dhabi or Dubai for goods.
Ruwais residents excited about opening of long-awaited mall
ABU DHABI // Residents in Ruwais are warmly welcoming news that a long-awaited mall is due to open on January 29.
Many have been calling for a shopping centre for years and say the small shops in the town, about 240 kilometres west of the capital in Al Gharbia, have a limited selection and can be too expensive.
Ruwais Mall will have more than 51 outlets, a LuLu hypermarket, a four-screen cinema, an entertainment zone, parking for 900 vehicles and a food court.
“The mall opening will solve a lot of problems for the Ruwais community here,” said, Abdel Aziz Rahman, from Sudan, who described the mall as a dream come true.
“In Ruwais there isn’t any shop where children can buy their kind of stuff as well as women-specific outlets.
“There is no shop for electronic appliances and furniture. We always have to travel to Abu Dhabi. We buy fridges and furniture from Abu Dhabi or Sharjah and have to cough out extra money on transportation.”
Yousuf Al Ali said it was exciting that he would no longer have to travel to buy the things he wanted.
“For example, if I want a treadmill, it’s not available here. And we don’t find good stuff and quality products here. We want good international brands for sports,” he said.
“I believe these small groceries charge more on different commodities. There are no options here and even there is no good restaurant.”
The Emirati said the lack of shops meant he had no option but to travel elsewhere.
“We have to drive to Abu Dhabi – about 200km from Ruwais – to buy commodities and we frequently do this to meet our requirements,” Mr Al Ali said.
The mall is being developed by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and operated by Line Investments and Property, a division of LuLu.
It will cater to the town’s 40,00 residents, many of whom work in the energy sector, and will take up 31,000 square metres.
Anoop Gopal, general manager for leasing at Line Investments and Property, said residents would benefit the most.
“People there work from morning until 2pm and afterwards they don’t have any place to unwind and get all kinds of stuff under one roof. So this mall will serve them for all their needs,” he said.
“It is basically a mall to serve the community. We are giving them what they require. As there is no organised retail shops in Ruwais, there is big demand for it.”
Edgar Perez Cantos, a Filipino living in Ruwais, and his wife were looking forward to the opening.
“My wife is very excited as she always has to travel to Abu Dhabi to use ladies salons as Ruwais does not have them,” he said.
Mr Cantos believes the smaller shops overcharge and that most people will no longer have to make a rushed shopping trip to Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
“These small groceries overcharge us too,” he said. “We want outlets having good quality standards like those we have in Abu Dhabi.”
Mr Cantos said he only had one wish and that was for someone to open a few outlets where the Filipino community could dine out.
“For good Filipino food, we have to travel to Abu Dhabi or Dubai,” he said.