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They think it’s mall over…

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

Kipp would love to think this next one is all down to us, but we suspect we barely figured in the calculation. Still, we’ll welcome the fact that the right result was reached nonetheless.

What result are we talking about? Simple: the scaling back of one of the country’s new mall projects. The National reports this week that Yas Mall, a shopping center planned by Aldar Properties for Yas Island, has been ‘downsized’ to 235,000 square metres.

What’s more, this new addition to the retail scene is now expected in 2013, which is yet another shift – the mall was originally due to open this year, but back in April last year the date was moved to March 2012. At the time Aldar said the extra time would allow them to save up to 30 percent on costs; Kipp wonders if they’ll find any savings with this latest delay?

But back to the size issue. Apparently this is also another reduction – the design of the mall was cut from 300,000 square metres to 250,000 last year, although Kipp can’t find any press coverage to that effect. We’re starting to suspect the Aldar press release announcing that one was circulated a bit like the infamous demolition notice in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – ie posted on the wall of the Aldar basement, which doesn’t have any stairs.

Funnily enough, if you are in the mood for digging up old news, you’ll find stories in which it is promised the mall will span 460,000 square metres, which, if true, means the design of the mall has effectively almost halved in size. That’s quite a downgrade. Anyway, regardless of the numbers, the point is basically this: mall much smaller.

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1 Comment

  1. Jamjoon Mohammad on March 17, 2011 11:18 pm

    The location of this Mall is fantastic, and works well with the adjacent buildings. However, Aldar is now being run by few execs at the top and their cronies, most of the good western retail brainpower has been made redundant. The nitwits at the top, will never be able to find the “just right” solution. Expect further delays and more value engineering… will end up with something far far more mediocre; than something that was origianlly supposed to compete with Dubai Mall.


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