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Sun 15 Sep 2019 09:00 AM

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Abu Dhabi's new social dining and entertainment destination will be dry

Focus on families at Al Qana development which is due to open in Q4 2020

Abu Dhabi's new social dining and entertainment destination will be dry
Al Qana is being developed as part of a public-private partnership between Al Barakah International Investment and Abu Dhabi Municipality.

There will be no alcohol served at Al Qana, Abu Dhabi’s new social dining and entertainment destination that is set to open by the end of 2020.

Al Qana, which spans over 2.4km, will offer waterside eateries, a stand-alone cinema, the Middle East’s largest aquarium, a marina, wellness hub and outdoor skatepark.

It is being developed as part of a public-private partnership between Al Barakah International Investment and Abu Dhabi Municipality.

Fouad Mashal, CEO and founder of Al Barakah Holding, told Arabian Business he viewed the development very much as a place for families, which was a big reason behind the decision not to serve alcohol.

He said: “I don’t like it because if you put alcohol, with the families and the culture... it will make problems. If somebody comes drunk, you cannot control everyone. You cannot say to everyone, ‘don’t drink more’. It’s a family place. This is very important.”

Construction work at the site, which is located on the historic natural Khor Al Maqta, the waterway bordering the mainland close to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, is currently 65 percent complete, with plans to open in Q4 next year.

Mashal also revealed that 60 percent of the space has been leased.

He added: “When I designed it (Al Qana) six years ago, I started thinking about what Abu Dhabi needs and the location. It is opposite Sheikh Zayed Mosque. There are thousands of visitors to Sheikh Zayed Mosque, after that, there is no place to go, either the malls, that’s all,” he said.

“Then I said I’d like to have in this project, something different, for it to be a destination, for who is living in Abu Dhabi and who is visiting Abu Dhabi. A destination of how you spend time here, not just to eat and go back home, not to come to watch a movie and go home. You can come and eat and let your kids play in the play areas and then if you want to watch a movie, you can watch a movie.

“Because I live in Abu Dhabi now almost 40 years and there is nothing like this. All the projects are malls, just malls, hotels, nothing. There is no place to go. Go to Dubai. I did something that Dubai doesn’t have. This is absolutely new.”

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