Abu Dhabi Central Market's first phase to open in Q3

Is the number of shops that will fill the Arabian Souk, being built over an area of 14,500 sq m in the first phase of the Abu Dhabi Central Market. Half of these have already been leased to investors. (EB FILE)

The first phase of the Abu Dhabi Central Market project is 95 per cent complete and the market will open in the third quarter of 2010, said Reham Abdulla, Senior Leasing Manager, Central Market Project, Aldar Properties, while speaking to Emirates Business yesterday.

Aldar Properties said at a press conference that it has begun leasing shops inside the Emporium, which forms part of the second phase of the Central Market – a high-end, fully integrated, mixed-use redevelopment in the original commercial district in the heart of downtown Abu Dhabi. The anchor store at the Emporium will be House of Fraser, the chain's first store in the region, it said.

The project's first phase covers the traditional Arabian Souk, built over an area of 14,500 sq m. It will have 300 shops with areas ranging between 40 sq m and 50 sq m. Nearly 50 per cent of the shops have been leased to investors from the UAE and elsewhere, said Abdulla.

The second phase features the Emporium and a 59-storey office tower. About 60 per cent of this phase has been completed and it will be opened next year, she added.

The Emporium covers an area of 62,000 sq m, has 170 shops with areas of 80 sq m, 100 sq m, 2,000 sq m and 10,000 sq m. Billed as Abu Dhabi's high-fashion destination, the Emporium will house 150 chic boutiques offering a blend of local and international brands, and food and beverage outlets spread over eight levels of arcades.

The third phase is due for opening in 2012. This includes the 88-storey Domain residential tower – the tallest tower in Abu Dhabi city – of which 78 storeys have been built. Two 59-storey and 16-storey hotels also form part of the complex.

Abdulla said that Aldar has signed a 10-year renewable contract with Retail Arabia International to set up House of Fraser.

Nabil Daud, Managing Director and CEO, Retail Arabia International, said: "The signing of House of Fraser for the Middle East marked a very important step for Retail Arabia International. It is with great excitement that we look at launching this iconic brand in Abu Dhabi as the anchor to the Emporium, Central Market." (With inputs from Wam)


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