UAE-based mall operator Majid Al Futtaim has broken ground on its new City Centre Al Zahia mall in Sharjah, it announced on Tuesday.
The Dhs2.6bn ‘super-regional’ mall will offer 136,200 sqm of gross leasable area, with over 360 retail brands over two levels.
It will be anchored by a 15,100 sqm Carrefour Hypermarket, and will also feature a 16-screen VOX Cinemas complex and a 2,350 sqm Magic Planet family entertainment destination.
The mall will also offer an external food and beverage precinct with covered al fresco seating.
Designed to resemble a lantern, the mall is located adjacent to Al Zahia, a master planned development developed by Sharjah Holding and Majid Al Futtaim Properties.
The development will feature six themed parks, leisure facilities and feature 2,270 homes including apartments, villas and townhouses.
The mall is slated to open in 2020, and when completed it will cater to over 1.9 million people in the region, Majid Al Futtaim said in a statement.
“The scale and long-term vision of the Al Zahia community warrant a retail and entertainment destination of this size and scope,” said Ghaith Shocair, CEO for shopping malls at Majid Al Futtaim Properties.
“Sharjah’s robust economic growth and the continued investment in its tourism, manufacturing, culture, and transport sectors make it an ideal destination for further development, especially in the retail, food and beverage, and entertainment landscapes,” he added.
Majid Al Futtaim is aggressively expanding in the UAE. Last year, it announced plans to increase its total investment in the country by Dhs30bn by 2026, taking its total investment in the UAE to Dhs48bn.
As part of the plan, the company is also redeveloping existing malls.
City Centre Sharjah is currently undergoing a Dhs260m redevelopment initiative set for completion in the last quarter of 2017.
Meanwhile City Centre Ajman is also undergoing aDhs600m refurbishment programme which will see the mall almost double in size, from 29,000 to 52,000 sqm.
The mall’s expansion is anticipated to conclude in the third quarter of 2017, followed by an additional refurbishment and redemising of the existing mall.
Under the strategy, the company plans to have 10 new shopping malls under its City Centre brand, a new landmark regional mall in Dubai as part of a mixed-use community and its first mall in Abu Dhabi at Masdar City.