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TDIC Partners With L Real Estate To Develop ’The District’ - A World-Class Retail Destination On Saadiyat
(21 January 2013)


Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, announced today its joint venture partnership with L Real Estate (LRE), a global real estate development and investment fund sponsored by LVMH specialising in creating luxury shopping destinations, to develop ‘The District’, a world-class retail destination with indoor-outdoor shopping and dining venues situated in the heart of one of the region’s most culturally iconic locations – Saadiyat island’s Cultural District.

The District, which is scheduled to be completed by 2017, comprises three levels – all above ground starting from the street level – distributed over 168,000 square metres of leasable space with more than 550 units allocated for luxury and fashion brands, dining outlets, high-end department stores, home furnishing chains, art galleries, family entertainment venues and various other speciality stores and services.

Strategically positioned among the three world-class museums – Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi – this development, which sits on a land plot of 17 hectares, will be one of the largest retail complexes in the emirate and the first-of-its-kind in the Arabian Gulf region to feature high-street outdoor fashion stores. The District will present an unparalleled retail and lifestyle experience through its high-class luxury brands, family-oriented leisure and entertainment facilities, and multiple food and beverage outlets offering a wide range of cuisines and delicacies through fine dining restaurants, casual eateries, confectionary shops, spacious food court and lively outdoor cafe culture.

His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of TDIC, stated: “TDIC’s comprehensive vision of developing world-class tourism assets, such as Saadiyat island and its iconic cultural institutions, upscale residential communities and distinctive leisure facilities, is truly reflective of Abu Dhabi’s wider economic strategy of transforming the emirate into a vibrant international destination. 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.”

The project’s aesthetic architecture and interior designs are specially conceived to harmonise with the inspiring cultural and environmental surroundings; in particular, the breathtaking views of the neighbouring museums located within walking distance, and the azure blue waters of the Arabian Gulf.

The District boasts four distinctive zones – namely Luxury Street, Canal, Main Street and the Crescent Arcade – all seamlessly interconnected through distinctive characteristics. The Luxury Street, Canal and Main Street zones are located outdoors on two levels. Luxury Street is situated on a promenade featuring some of the world’s most famous and elite fashion brands, while the Canal zone comprises a water channel running alongside a great variety of food and beverage outlets dotted alongside water gardens and a boardwalk with direct views of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Main Street boasts an extensive array of flagship boutiques with fashion brands designed to suit a wide-range of customers, outdoor cafes and a unique blend of luxury services.

The Crescent Arcade, enclosed within the shopping complex and located on all three levels, is intelligently designed to allow natural light to gently shine through transparent glass ceilings and water features creating an artistic and soothing effect indoors. This zone houses a blend of fashion stores, dining outlets and services with the ground level extending underneath Luxury Street and Main Street, and the middle level having direct access to the Canal zone. The top level features a multi-screen cinema theatre with the latest state-of-the-art audio-visual surround system, a kids entertainment zone and food court.

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.

The appeal of Saadiyat is due to the exclusive lifestyle that the island offers through its leisure, cultural and tourism facilities, as well as what it offers its residential community through a superb mix of luxury villas, high-end townhouses and elite apartments beautifully dotted across Saadiyat Beach District. Meanwhile, the Saadiyat Cultural District is set to become an internationally renowned arts hub featuring premier cultural institutions that are unprecedented in scale and scope. These feature Pritzker-prize winning architects that are involved in the world-class museums which will open on the island starting with the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2015, followed by Zayed National Museum in 2016 and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in 2017. 

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