By TBY | UAE | Jun 20, 2015
As the latest retail and leisure addition to the Yas Island development, Yas Mall holds several leading distinctions and standout features, and is expected to attract visitors in record numbers to Abu Dhabi as the largest enclosed shopping center in the Middle East.
In light of steady population growth, higher consumer spending in the local community, and growing regional and international travel appeal, leisure and retail offerings are key elements of Abu Dhabi’s tourism attraction. Yas Mall is expected to significantly increase tourism to the area and further support Yas Island’s role in the capital’s tourism project as a multifaceted leisure and entertainment destination, which houses several other attractions, such as the island’s seven hotels, Yas Waterworld, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Links Golf Course, du Arena, O1NE Yas Island, Ferrari World, and Yas Marina, with more on the way.
Over 15 malls exist already in Abu Dhabi, but none match the scale and scope of Yas Mall. It is Abu Dhabi’s largest and first super-regional mall with 235,000 sqm of gross leasable area (GLA). It has been designed to attract residents and visitors of various nationalities by the millions, with over 400 world-class shops from high-end to department stores, multi-cuisine restaurants and a food court catering to international tastes, and an overall indoor city design with a spacious, family-friendly atmosphere.
Leading local and international brands, many of which are new to Abu Dhabi, have gone large in the mega-mall, such as Debenhams that plans to build its largest store outside the UK, Zara establishing its largest branch store in the Gulf, and the Chalhoub Group set to open the world’s biggest department store, Chalhoub Department Store by end of 2015. Newcomers to the region include the first Lego Concept store, a Brook’s Brothers, and the world’s largest Rogo’s Rollercoaster Restaurant, a restaurant where food is sent directly to each table on mini roller coaster tracks.
For the Yas Island development, Yas Mall is a valuable addition to the existing and planned infrastructure that is to come to the capital in the next few years. Yas Mall will be a major attraction and springboard for future projects on the island leading up to 2030. Not all stores are open in the mall, and yet 20 million visitors are expected during 2015, the mall’s first full year of operation. Whether it is families with children, young couples, visiting relatives, expatriates, or locals, Yas Mall has been created with everyone in mind and is expected to bring in 30 million visits per annum come 2030. Developers have taken notice of Abu Dhabi’s undersupplied market, and high-spending consumers have more grand mall openings to look forward to in the coming years. New planned malls in the works including TDIC’s District mall on Saadiyat Island and Gulf Related’s Sowwah Central on Al Maryah Island, both scheduled to open in 2017. The opening of Yas Mall has achieved several firsts for Abu Dhabi and the region, as it continues to develop into a world-class tourism destination.