Dubai: Lebanon’s newest mall has opened its doors wide, and helping the property’s manager to add to its considerable retail stock.

In fact, the venture between Bahaa Rafic Hariri Group and ABC s.a.l. is to be the largest commercial project, right in the heart of Beirut. The ABC Verdun will host around 200 shops, including 29F&B outlets, a cinema multiplex, a children’s area, and a 1,800 square metre garden.

The development cost is estimated at $300 million (Dh1.1 billion) plus. “This project is estimated to create over 2,000 job opportunities, giving the city a much-needed boost,” said Robert Fadel, chairman and CEO of ABC.

The group already operates two department stores in Lebanon’s prime districts, Dbayeh and Achrafieh — the latter being the region’s first open-air mall built to international standards. In addition, it has four retail outlets and standalone boutiques for international brands.

With ABC Verdun operational, the group is operating 110,000 square metres of gross leasable area.

Apart from the shopping and dining options, ABC Verdun provides green spaces in the heart of the city. Conceived as an interconnected urban park, the mall’s garden even has an oak forest, along with olive and pomegranate trees, and an array of native and naturalised species.

The mall will be accessible from multiple directions and serviced by 1,700 parking spaces.

A representative for Shaikh Bahaa said in a statement, “We have always considered Lebanon the country of prosperity and opportunity regardless of the economic challenges Lebanon continues to struggle against. This important partnership with ABC has allowed us to look forward to a brighter future for the country.”