Abu Dhabi: The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) announced on Monday that it has partnered with L Real Estate (LRE), a global real estate development and investment fund, to develop ‘The Disctrict,’ a retail destination on Saadiyat Island’s Cultural District.
The retail complex which is scheduled to be completed by 2017, will comprise of three levels and will have more than 550 units allocated for high-class fashion brands, dining outlets, family entertainment venues and various other stores.
TDIC said that the development will be one of the largest retail complexes in the emirate and “the first-of-its-kind” in the region. It will be divided into four distinctive zones: Luxury Street, Canal, Main Street and the Crescent Arcade.
“The project – with a gross floor area totalling 258,000 square metres and a total built up area of 370,000 square metres — will start a detailed design of the destination in 2013, while construction will commence in 2014 and be completed in 2017 around the time of the Guggenheim museum opening,” TDIC said in its statement.
“This new retail destination — ideally sits among Saadiyat’s inspiring museums, beautiful landscape and coastal environment — will be a regional attraction and a highly prized sought-after location for Abu Dhabi’s communities and visitors when it opens by 2017,” said Shaikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of TDIC.
Matthew Green, Head of Research and Consultancy for the UAE at CB Richard Ellis, told Gulf News that the new retail outlet, which is in keeping with the aspirations of quality that the master developer wants on Saadiyat, will be a “complimentary facility” for the Island and its residents.
In four years time, Saadiyat Island is going to be home to three world-class museums, Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The Island already has two international five-star resorts, the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort and the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, and top-class sport and leisure facilities, such as Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, and the Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat, the world’s first Monte-Carlo Beach Club outside of Monaco.
“The key drivers for Saadiyat are the hotels, museums and golf courses, so the retail component appears to be complimentary for the tourists visiting those locations,” he said.
Green added that the TDIC through such facilities is trying to make the Island more attractive from an occupiers’ perspective. “We expect to see more and more of that on Saadiyat,” he said.
‘The District’ is one of several facilities that will be coming online and which will help serve Saadiyat’s growing residential community. Some of the other facilities include a purpose-built nursery, a retail centre offering day-to-day conveniences, a mosque, ladies beach club and an international school.
For information on the real estate sector, within the UAE, please visit our sister site,  GNProperty.com.