Mubadala sells land for Abu Dhabi retail project

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An artist's impression of the Waterfront part of The Galleria at Sowwah Square, Abu Dhabi.

An artist's impression of the Waterfront part of The Galleria at Sowwah Square, Abu Dhabi.

Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure (MREI) has announced the sale of four land plots on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi for a retail project.

MREI, a business unit of Mubadala Development Company, sold the plots to Gulf Related to deliver a further 288,200 sq m of retail space in Sowwah Square.

"The expansion will provide a world class regional retail destination that will include residential and hotel development in line with the vision of the Government of Abu Dhabi for the Al Maryah Island master plan," a statement said without giving the value of the deal.

The central plots neighbour the Sowwah Square district, already home to over 40 blue chip companies, and adjacent to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. When complete Sowwah Square will accommodate a working population of over 10,000.

The statement said Gulf Related is the latest developer to purchase land on Al Maryah Island, after Taiwanese firm Farglory Group, which is developing four luxury waterfront towers, and local financial institutions National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and Al Hilal Bank which will each build a commercial tower.

The deal is the latest between MREI and Gulf Related following the creation of their joint venture in January 2011 to develop, lease, and operate The Galleria at Sowwah Square.

The Galleria is a 33,000 sq m retail destination that will bring fashion brands and dining to the capital when it opens in autumn 2013.

Ali Eid AlMheiri, executive director, MREI, said: "We are confident that Gulf Related's understanding of the overall Al Maryah Island master plan, combined with their experience in delivering world-class mixed-use projects, such as Time Warner Centre in New York, makes them an ideal development partner."

Kenneth A Himmel, co-managing partner of Gulf Related, added: "Gulf Related pursues large-scale landmark mixed-use real estate developments in the GCC, similar to our celebrated projects in the United States.

"Abu Dhabi presents fantastic opportunities, and we are delighted to be able to acquire such a premium and centrally located plot to help us build on and expand our successful Galleria project."

Al Maryah Island, formerly known as Sowwah Island, has been designated as Abu Dhabi's new central business district (CBD). Sowwah Square marks the completion of Phase 1 of Al Maryah Island's development.

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