The highly anticipated opening of The Galleria Al Maryah Island’s expansion has opened, with 80 percent of the project leased and a nearly all its stores set to open next year.
With the expansion, Abu Dhabi residents will now have 70 dining venues to choose from, including P.F. Chang’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Blaze Pizza and Bouchon Bakery. The Galleria has now also introduced ‘Central Kitchens’, a dining concept designed by internationally-known architect David Rockwell and his Rockwell Group.
“Today we opened our doors to The Galleria Al Maryah Island’s expansion and launched a new era of shopping, dining, and entertainment in the capital,” said Daniel Parry, the managing director of Gulf Related, a joint venture between Gulf Capital and Related Companies.
When it comes to shopping, customers will be able to choose from 250 international brands, including first-to-Abu Dhabi stores such as Missguided and Decathlon.
Additionally, the Galleria includes landscaped urban rooftop parks and ‘entertainment destinations’, as well as a 21-screen VOX cinema with IMAX. Visitors will able to go to the Abu Dhabi flagship location of ‘Xtreme Zone’.
“What we’re doing for Abu Dhabi is bring a cohesive entertainment and dining experience, with shopping, to the community under one roof,” Parry told Arabian Business on the sidelines of the expansion’s ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday. “I’m not sure that’s ever been done before.”
Parry said that the developers and designers of the mall conducted extensive research to determine the desires and needs of Abu Dhabi’s diverse population, with research into the expansion beginning even before Galleria originally opened in 2013.
“We spent a significant amount of time trying to understand what the Abu Dhabi community is,” he said. “What our research told us was that the people of Abu Dhabi still shop in Dubai, a lot. We tried to understand why.”
Gulf Related’s research, Parry added, found that most Abu Dhabi shoppers were looking for convenience, particularly as travel to malls with young children and their entire families.
“[People want] convenient facilities, baby changing rooms, family rooms, convenient parking. Easy ways to go from the parking to the mall,” he said.
“You’ll see, for example, that we have very big, wide elevators. You can get the mum and the dad and the kids and the strollers and everything in together.
“Overlay that with the parks and the entertainment, and there’s every day offerings – something for everyone, every day,” he added. “The way we shine is by giving people what they told us they’re looking for.”
The expansion also includes a number of art installations created by local and international artists that meant to highlight traditional arts and culture, as well as Abu Dhabi’s natural landscape and present-day multiculturalism.
Between now and the Galleria’s first annual ‘street party’ in November, the mall has a number of family-focused events, including a passport-themed treasure hunt that begins on September 5. Participants who complete the treasure hunt will be able to claim an exclusive limited-edited ‘The Galleria x Dia’a Allam’ gift bag.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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