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All on schedule as IKEA heads for the final straight on Yas

Al-Futtaim Group company gets ready for a Feb 2011 opening.

December 2, 2010 4:48 by

IKEA UAE, part of the Al-Futtaim group of companies, is all set to spearhead Yas Island’s retail offering as more than 2200 workers make the Blue Box rise above scaffoldings and nodding cranes to ready the Swedish furnishing giant for business in the first quarter of next year.

The 33,000sqm IKEA store – more than three times the size of Abu Dhabi Marina Mall store and bigger than the 25,400sqm store in Dubai Festival City – is a complete family destination and will form part of Yas Island’s retail centre Yas Mall. The present IKEA store in Marina Mall will relocate to Yas Island.

There has been significant progress on the construction and outfitting phases since IKEA broke ground in February last year and from February 2011 is expected to attract around 1.3 million visitors in the first year of operations with more than 60 percent of them being cash customers.

“Our project team is satisfied with the construction and outfitting progress and like promised during the ground breaking in February this year, IKEA will be ready to welcome nearly one and a half million visitors in the very first year of operations,” said Mile Franicevic, General Manager IKEA UAE. “IKEA will be one of the first globally recognised retailers to operate from Yas Island and in keeping with IKEA’s vision, will offer a wide range of home furnishings of good design and function at prices so low that the majority of people can afford to buy them,” Mr. Franicevic said.

Construction is progressing well and the building’s shell will be completed by the end of the year thanks to more than 2,200 employees working round the clock to complete the building works. Installation of the grid ceiling, vinyl flooring and racking installation is in progress and work on the car parking is well underway.

IKEA Yas store will have 1,400 parking bays for its visitors who will be served by 35 cash tills at the back of a total sales area of 19,150sqm. The cash tills include refund/exchange desks and IKEA Food & Beverage counters. Alongside Market-Hall (6,000sqm) and Showroom Furniture (6,150sqm) areas, there will also be a 550-seat, 2,100sqm restaurant serving popular Swedish delicacies as well as its healthy and affordable breakfast and lunches. There is also an exciting and fun IKEA play area for the young customers.

Mohammed Al Mubarak, Chief Commercial Officer, Aldar added: “We are extremely pleased with progress on the construction of IKEA’s flagship store in the Middle East. The incredible attractions such as Yas Marina Circuit and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi are clearly the major draw today, but an incredible shopping experience will be at the very heart of what Yas Island has to offer. This will all start with this exciting store and we look forward to celebrating delivery with Al-Futtaim and IKEA early in 2011.”

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