Complex Made Simple

Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s to open in Abu Dhabi

'Retail tourism is certainly Abu Dhabi's new focus'

The Abu Dhabi retail industry is taking a big leap with US brands setting up shops in the emirate.

Department stores Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s will open on the capital’s Al Maryah Island by 2018.

While it’s the first time that Macy’s will expand outside of the US, Bloomingdale’s, which already boasts presence in Dubai, is set to open its second store in Abu Dhabi.

Gulf Related, a regional development company and joint venture between Gulf Capital and Related Companies, and Al Tayer Group, have signed a deal to open the stores on Al Maryah Central, a 2.3-million-square-foot shopping centre being developed on Al Maryah Island.

Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are famous worldwide for their apparel, accessories, home and beauty brands. The Macy’s shop will be 205,000 square feet and the new Bloomingdale’s, at 230,000 square feet, will be much bigger than its Dubai store. Both stores will be divided across four levels, offering residents and visitors access to different sections.

Khalid Al Tayer, CEO of Retail at Al Tayer Group, says in a media statement: “We are delighted to be launching the first Macy’s outside of the US, as well as our second Bloomingdale’s in Abu Dhabi. Al Maryah Central provides an ideal home for these landmark introductions.”

Al Tayer Group will operate more than 20 inline retail stores, comprising fashion, cafés and restaurants, bringing the total anchoring commitment from Al Tayer Group to more than 520,000 square foot, thereby representing approximately one third of Al Maryah Central’s total leasable space.

Al Maryah Central is a new extension of The Galleria and includes a new hotel and residential towers, bringing the total value of the project to $1 billion. The area will also feature two 400,000-square-foot integrated towers; one with a hotel and serviced apartments, and the other with luxury residences.

In addition to a unique food hall, Al Maryah Central will host an extensive mix of more than 90 dining options, including al fresco cafés, bistros and fine dining restaurants. There will be a 20-screen cinema, health club, food market, children’s entertainment and rooftop parks that include an outdoor amphitheatre for film screenings and events.

“Retail tourism is certainly Abu Dhabi’s new focus,” Kevin Ryan, managing director of development at Gulf Related, tells AMEinfo.  “The Galleria, along with a combination of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s in Al Maryah Central, and other shops, cinemas and hotels, will be approximately the same size of Mall of the Emirates, but will offer all of the amenities of The Dubai Mall.”

Al Maryah Central and The Galleria together will create a 2.9-million-square-foot, waterfront shopping destination that anchors the 8.6-million-square-foot, mixed-use district, comprising the Sowwah Square and Al Maryah Central.

“As a spectacular world-class shopping destination, Al Maryah Central provides an outstanding opportunity to introduce Macy’s to customers that live and work in the booming UAE market, as well as to visitors that come from around the world for events, business and holidays,” says Terry Lundgren, Macy’s, Inc.’s chairman and CEO.

Dr Karim El Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital and co-managing partner at Gulf Related, comments: “Al Maryah Island is fast becoming the go-to destination for the lifestyle and retail demands of the capital and the preferred location for many new retailers. This pioneering deal will further enhance the development and sophistication of retail both in Abu Dhabi and across the region.”

Certainly with many more high-profile projects expected next year, Abu Dhabi is on the right track when it comes to retail tourism.