Majid Al Futtaim’s City Centre Al Zahia set for 2020 launch

RetailME Bureau

Majid Al Futtaim – shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia – officially broke ground on what will be its largest mall in Sharjah, the City Centre Al Zahia. Once complete, City Centre Al Zahia will be a valuable addition to Majid Al Futtaim’s City Centre brand portfolio.

Strategically located at the intersection of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and University Road, City Centre Al Zahia is a super-regional mall with 1.46 million sqft of gross leasable area.

The mall will address the shopping and leisure needs of the residents of Sharjah, northern emirates and Al Zahia – an award-winning residential destination with six themed parks, leisure facilities and featuring 2,270 homes ranging from 3, 4 and 5 bedroom villas and townhouses to apartments of various sizes. When it opens in 2020, City Centre Al Zahia will serve a trade area of more than 1.9 million people, while also attracting residents of neighbouring northern emirates.

Offering a diverse mix of over 360 retail brands over two levels City Centre Al Zahia is anchored by a 162,535 sqft Carrefour Hypermarket, complemented by leisure offerings including VOX Cinemas, with 16 screens incorporating the latest theatre technology and a 25,295 sqft Magic Planet family entertainment destination.

With a distinctive lantern-like design, City Centre Al Zahia’s architectural detailing echoes the annual Sharjah Light Festival. In addition, the external food and beverage precinct, located at the mall’s entrance along with covered alfresco seating, will enhance Sharjah’s dining options for residents and tourists.

City Centre Al Zahia will have a contemporary, light-filled aesthetic driven by Majid Al Futtaim’s commitment to sustainable, environmentally-sound building practices.

“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,” says Ghaith Shocair, CEO for shopping malls at Majid Al Futtaim Properties.

“The scale and long-term vision of the Al Zahia community warrant a retail and entertainment destination of this size and scope, in line with Majid Al Futtaim’s strategy to create malls that meet the current and future needs of the residents and tourists we serve. When complete, City Centre Al Zahia will be the vibrant hub at the heart of this residential destination,” he adds.

City Centre Al Zahia’s ground-breaking comes following Majid Al Futtaim’s recent announcement that will see the company increase its total investment in the UAE by AED30 billion by 2026, taking its total investment in the country to AED48 billion. As part of its strategic development plan, Majid Al Futtaim continues to invest in the redevelopment of its existing assets in the northern emirates.

The expansion plans for City Centre Sharjah and City Centre Ajman are also key elements of Majid Al Futtaim’s overall UAE growth strategy announced in June 2016. City Centre Sharjah is currently undergoing an AED 260 million redevelopment initiative set for completion in the last quarter of 2017. A comprehensive redevelopment of City Centre Ajman will see the mall almost double in size, from 312,153 to 559,723 sqft. With an estimated cost of AED600 million, the mall’s expansion is anticipated to conclude in the third quarter of 2017, followed by additional refurbishment and redemising of the existing mall.

Following the opening of City Centre Me’aisem in September 2015 and City Centre Al Shindagha in 2016, and the successful delivery of Mall of the Emirates’ Evolution 2015 expansion initiative, City Centre Al Zahia is Majid Al Futtaim’s fourth major project to be announced in the UAE within the past 18 months.