They think it’s mall over…
As Abu Dhabi scales back the huge Yas Mall, are we finally learning a few lessons about retail space?
March 16, 2011 3:01 by Samuel Potter
“Obviously, when things have changed with the financial meltdown around the globe, we obviously had to reassess things. And that has put the project into 2013 instead of 2012. But it is looking good,” says Fred Douglas, Aldar’s director of leasing.
All of which is fair enough. In fact, rather than being sarcastic about this, Kipp is going to applaud – at least one company has a grasp of the economic situation, it seems. Aldar, which has had a few issues of its own, has correctly realized that there are limits to how much retail space you can build and how much space is needed, something Kipp has been saying for a while now.
We wrote a few months back that Abu Dhabi’s apparent ambition to overtake Dubai in terms of retail space was crazy, and we stand by this. We’re hoping that Aldar’s willingness to change tack is a sign the richer emirate is rethinking things. There’s certainly some evidence to back that up: The National says that “Other retail projects in Abu Dhabi have been scaled down… Sorouh’s plans for Lulu Island have been reworked. Deerfields Town Square, originally a Victorian-themed shopping centre in Al Bahia, has streamlined its design and reduced the retail space by 35 per cent to 83,613 sq metres.”
Perhaps Abu Dhabi is learning from Dubai’s mistakes after all; if that’s the case then Dubai’s economic implosion was at least not for nothing.
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