Kuwait-based retail franchise operator Alshaya announced that it will create up to 2,000 jobs through its investment in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall, which is scheduled to open during the Formula One weekend on November 21.
The group said that it will launch 42 brands, including the largest Debenhams store outside the UK and the UAE’s first Pottery Barn Teen and jewellery brand Icing store in the mall that is being developed by Abu Dhabi builder Aldar.
The retail franchise operator is also launching Abu Dhabi’s first Victoria’s Secret, The Cheesecake Factory, COS, Texas Roadhouse, Muji, River Island, Jo Malone and West Elm. Other brands operated by Alshaya at the mall are H&M, Mothercare, and Starbucks.
The stores, which will cover over 30,000 square metres of retail space, also represent Alshaya’s single biggest opening on one day.
“As the retail market continues to develop, we continually look for opportunities to introduce our portfolio of well-loved international brands to new customers in new markets,” said John Hadden, senior vice-president for property development, Alshaya.
“The scale of the Yas Mall development gives us a great opportunity to extend the choice available to discerning, brand-savvy consumers in Abu Dhabi. With its proximity to both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, we are confident that the mall will become an important new retail, leisure and entertainment destination in the UAE.”
New projects such as Yas Mall are expected to fill a gap in Abu Dhabi’s retail industry as they bring a number of global brands to the emirate.
The mall will feature over 370 retail and F&B brands with many of them setting up in the capital for the first time. Yas Mall will also be connected to the neighbouring indoor theme park Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.
“We are expecting to receive around 20 million visitors during the first year of operation,” said Talal Al Dhiyebi, executive director of asset management of Aldar Properties.
“There are a number of residential communities around the region which have been traditionally underserved in terms of quality retail and they will be backing us.
“Aldar in the last few years has focused on recurring income and this year we had two massive residential developments that came online and were released. Yas Mall is going to be our largest on balance sheet asset and generate for us recurring income on an annual basis.”