Global brands eye place in new UAE entertainment hub

Backers say Al Qana, set to open by the end of 2020, is drawing interest from a range of local and international brands
Global brands eye place in new UAE entertainment hub
Al Qana is located on the historic natural Khor Al Maqta, the waterway bordering the mainland close to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
By Sam Bridge
Mon 03 Jun 2019 09:00 AM

Al Qana, Abu Dhabi’s new social dining and entertainment destination that is set to open by the end of 2020, is drawing interest from a range of local and international brands, it has been announced.

Over the past month, the team at Al Qana have hosted more than 50 F&B chains and outlets, including 15 that are new to the UAE market, a statement said.

Al Qana, which spans over 2.4km and will offer waterside eateries, cinema, the Middle East’s largest aquarium, marina, a wellness hub and outdoor skatepark, is being developed as part of a public-private partnership between BII and Abu Dhabi Municipality.

Al Qana is located on the historic natural Khor Al Maqta, the waterway bordering the mainland close to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

To underline this, Al Qana has brought on board a key partner, The National Aquarium of Abu Dhabi, which will be the largest of its kind in the Middle East.

As the project steers towards its target opening, Al Qana said it has signed over 52 percent of the leasable spaces to entertainment and anchor attractions.

Todd English, celebrity chef and international restaurant owner, said during his tour of the Al Qana site: “I’m excited by places that bring people together and offer something different. Al Qana does just that and we’re thrilled at the opportunity of opening a new concept on the waterfront.”

David Cassidy, senior leasing manager at Landmark Group, added: “Al Qana is taking shape quickly and is a very exciting project. The hugely impressive National Aquarium and various F&B/leisure elements will make it a must visit national attraction for both tourists and residents.”

Enrico Clementi, managing partner at Tribe Creators, the consulting firm behind many F&B and leisure concepts in the UAE, said: “I honestly believe that with the unique location, amazing mix of entertainment, F&B, Aquarium, Cinemas, Lifestyle pavilions, and much more, Al Qana will be one of the most sought-after destinations in Abu Dhabi both by the residents and tourists alike.”

Al Qana is the first-ever build-operate-transfer (BOT) model implemented by the Abu Dhabi Municipality and is jointly developed by Al Barakah International Investment.

International Construction Contracting Company (ICCC) is the lead contractor in charge of the development of the project.

Stuart Gissing, general manager of Al Qana, said: “We are making strong progress to delivering the Al Qana project by the end of next year. One of the most important aspects is to provide a variety of spaces that cater to the community and those visiting the destination.”

Fouad Mashal, CEO of Al Barakah International Investment, added: “Al Qana plans to attract more than 150 must-see concepts across 11 blocks with a total gross leasable area of approximately 60,000 square metres. We are aiming to create a vibrant ecosystem for businesses, whether they are F&B providers, recreational outlets or wellness hubs.”

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