Gulf Related announces Sowwah Central


February 12, 2013 | By RetailME Bureau

Abu Dhabi-based developer Gulf Related has announced Sowwah Central, a mixed-use development featuring a 2.3 million sqft super-regional shopping centre and adjoining luxury hotel and residential towers on Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi. Sowwah Central will form the centre-point of Al Maryah Island and will link to The Galleria at Sowwah Square, Gulf Related’s previously announced 550,000 sqft luxury shopping and dining development with a dramatic waterfront promenade.

Planned for opening in spring 2017, Sowwah Central will be connected to 15.8 million sqft of adjacent completed and occupied properties on Al Maryah Island.

Capitalising on the prime position of Al Maryah Island as the focal point of Abu Dhabi’s new business, retail and residential areas, Sowwah Central will create an attractive lifestyle destination for the capital. The Elkus Manfredi designed development will provide a fully climate-controlled shopping, dining and entertainment destination for local, regional and international visitors. Recognising the development opportunity, Gulf Related acquired the 530,000 sqft Sowwah Central site from Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure last November.

Anchored by two international department stores (each 210,000 sqft over four levels), Sowwah  Central will offer a world-class collection of stores, state-of-the-art cinema complex, extensive teen and youth entertainment options and premier health club. In addition, an eclectic mix of over 80 dining options, including al fresco cafés, bistros and fine dining restaurants, will be complemented by a panoramic, open-air rooftop food hall. The development will also feature two 400,000 sqft towers, one with a 5-star hotel and serviced apartments and the other with luxury residences.

Combined, The Galleria and Sowwah Central represents over 500 retail, leisure, dining and  entertainment options. “The Al Tayer Group and its partner luxury brands have a strong commitment to The Galleria so we are excited about this new cutting-edge retail destination on Al Maryah Island. We look forward to working alongside Gulf Related to create a world-class retail offering featuring the most sought-after brands,” observes Khalid Al Tayer, CEO-Retail, Al Tayer Group.

“We expect the precinct to be a great success, offering an environment that will exceed customer expectations. The Chalhoub group looks forward to the unique opportunities offered by the Sowwah Central development that will complement The Galleria’s fashion and luxury retail, making the  shopping experience on Al Maryah Island on par with the highest international standards,” says Patrick Chalhoub, CEO of Chalhoub Group.

“Our vision was born out of the tremendous response to The Galleria’s unique luxury retail offering. Sowwah Central will create a new paradigm in Abu Dhabi as the region’s premier one-stop  destination for retail, leisure and dining. Related is known for creating some of the most  internationally celebrated retail driven mixed-use developments in the United States such as the Time Warner Centre in New York and City-Place in West Palm Beach, as well as Hudson Yards, our  current 15 million sqft landmark project in Manhattan that is the nation’s largest private development. Looking to the future we are excited about bringing to life Sowwah Central’s dynamic vision so we can provide the Abu Dhabi community with an unsurpassed destination to shop, dine and be  entertained,” elaborates Kenneth A Himmel, co-managing partner of Gulf Related and president and CEO of Related Urban.

“Since Gulf Capital ventured with Related to launch Gulf Related in 2009, our mission has been to develop large-scale mixed-use projects that combine the energy and vitality of an urban destination with the lifestyle and culture of this vibrant nation. The Galleria provided us with an ideal stepping stone into the Abu Dhabi retail market and Sowwah Central will help expand and diversify our offerings to cater to all visitors. These two ground-breaking projects establish Gulf Related as the region’s pre-eminent luxury mixed-use real estate development company,” concludes Dr Karim El Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital and co-managing partner of Gulf Related.

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