By Parag Deulgaonkar
Al Araimi Boulevard, near Muscat, will have largest glass atrium, biggest food court in the sultanate
Oman’s Al Raid Group has started work on building a
$158.55 million (£127 million) shopping mall near Muscat, which will be a mini
replica of Westfield mall in London’s Shepherd’s Bush.
The two-level Al Araimi Boulevard will have English-style
landscaping, water features, fountains and roads in a built-up area of 147,200 square metres (sqm), while
the 70,500-sqm leasable space will include the “biggest food court, the largest
glass atrium and the largest skylight - 5,190 sqm - to illuminate the shopping mall in the
The shopping mall will have a 50-foot high canopied
glass entrance with over 210 retail units, a 6,000-sqm entertainment area with
10-screen cinema complex, and over 3,000 parking bays.
The development will feature a number of anchor stores strategically located throughout the mall, and visitors will be able to choose from a combination of the best high
street and boutique brands on offer under one roof.
Construction started on the project last year and is
slated for completion by September 2018. The project has been designed by Arab
Engineering Bureau, while construction work is being carried on by Unique
Contracting Company. Design International is the leasing agent.
CEO Sheikh Fahad Abdullah Al Araimi and his family are regular visitors to London
and travel from their Knightsbridge residence to Shepherd’s Bush and Westfield
to shop in the West London district, and is planning to recreate a slice of London transported to the Middle East.
“We strongly believe that spending quality time with
family and friends is one of life’s great pleasures, and with this philosophy
in mind we have created Al Araimi Boulevard as an exceptional lifestyle
destination created to bring people together in enjoyment,” Al Araimi said.
Retail rents in Al Araimi Boulevard will range from
$624 (£500) to $1124 (£900) per square metre per year, the company added.
According to AT Kearney’s Global Retail Index 2015,
retail sales in Oman is expected to grow steadily at 6 percent per year up to
2020 due to growth in tourism which in turn shows demand for new shopping and