Galleria Mall
New extension opening at The Galleria Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Picture by Sami Zaatari/ Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The biggest retail opening of the year was unveiled in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday with the official extension of The Galleria Al Maryah Island, with the new extension featuring 250 retail and dining options as well as a massive 21-screen Vox Cinema with IMAX.

With 80 per cent of the new mall already leased, at least 10,000 jobs have been created as a result of the Galleria’s extension according to its developers, providing the capital with a major economic boost, according to Daniel Parry, managing director of Gulf Related, the company behind the development of the shopping mall

“Today we opened our doors to The Galleria Al Maryah Island’s expansion and launched a new era of shopping, dining and entertainment for the capital,” Parry said.

“This incredible lifestyle destination was developed for the people of Abu Dhabi and caters to every member of the community with a unique offering that includes rooftop parks, entertainment for all ages and the city’s best shopping and dining experience. We’re excited to welcome the community to eat, play, shop and indulge at The Galleria for generations to come,” he added.

Parry said the extension would offer visitors a unique experience with its three parks that have been fully integrated within the shopping mall itself.

“There are a number of unique factors this shopping mall brings, one of them being the three parks. So we have a kids park, another park for older kids and adults, and then the sky park which is a place for people to go and relax.

“For the first time in Abu Dhabi [we have a venue with] full scale offering from luxury, high street, value retail, fine dining through to restaurants, cafés, food courts and off course entertainment and parks,” he added.

Commenting on the benefit to the local economy, Parry said the new extension would support both jobs and the retail market.

“Today, we’ve created about 10,000 permanent jobs in Abu Dhabi … just by this expansion.

“The retail market is a positive one, I was at a conference where one of the credit card providers said that 98 per cent of retail is done in stores here in the UAE with two per cent done online — now there are always different categories that are higher [such as] electronics,” he added.

“Retail is moving back to basics, it’s about the service, people have to know the products and people have to be able to explain the products and deliver the experience the customer wants,” Parry said.