Local🕔 22 May 2016

Abu Dhabi, May 2016: Gulf Related, in partnership with leading international architectural firm, Elkus Manfredi Architects, has begun implementation of the key design concepts for Al Maryah Central ˆ embracing novel architectural ideas and promising to redefine the UAE‚s retail and leisure landscape.

Scheduled for completion in 2018, Al Maryah Central is part of an unparalleled 3.1 million square foot retail and entertainment offer with over 100,000 square foot of green, open spaces. Al Maryah Central will showcase the first international Macy‚s department store, and first Bloomingdale‚s department store in Abu Dhabi, and will also feature more than 300 brands, in addition to 65 dining options.

Departing from the classic big-box mall designs, Gulf Related and Elkus Manfredi have master planned and designed a vibrant community defined by a variety of unique elements, including walkways and retail thoroughfares, and large open spaces to create an engaging, organic destination.

The design blends the outdoors and indoors and puts emphasis on the urban fabric of the surrounding city. Both exterior and interior sections face an urban retail setting, with an emphasis on walkability and pedestrian access. Visitors will be able to enjoy outdoor promenades or conveniently access the indoors through a network of air-conditioned walkways connecting Al Maryah Central with The Galleria and other surrounding buildings.

Al Maryah Central embraces the urban planning principle of Œplacemaking‚, which seeks to build public spaces that encourage well-being and strengthen the community.

„Instead of a singular town square, we conceived multiple meaningful public spaces each of an appropriate scale, each with a personality ˆ from a playful rooftop children‚s lawn to a sports-themed action park to a meandering dining promenade,‰ said Anthony Fioravanti, Vice President Design and Planning at Related Companies, who led design efforts. „This Œlinked‚ public space environment supports interest and discovery ˆ like walking through a great neighbourhood‰

Kenneth A. Himmel, President and CEO of Related Urban, and Co-Managing Partner of Gulf Related, said, „We have a long track-record in placemaking and deep commitment to great design and at Al Maryah Central we went to great lengths to focus on the details and the customer experience. People in the UAE are looking for more than just great shopping ˆ they want a 360 degree experience that provides entertainment, dining and family time.‰

In addition to the comprehensive mix of contemporary brands, Al Maryah Central will showcase extensive leisure, dining and entertainment options, including a 20-screen cinema, a health club, food market and children's entertainment, an urban community center and a public library. Al Maryah Central will include extensive day care facilities, as well as a medical clinic, and will offer direct connectivity to adjacent waterfront promenades.

„Thoughtful design and key placemaking elements play a crucial role in this development ˆ bringing to life the social heart of Al Maryah Central. We are creating more than a mall. We are creating an extraordinary new place in the heart of Abu Dhabi ˆ one that will be the centre of urban life, bringing the people of Abu Dhabi the kind of retail and entertainment destination that they are looking for,‰ Himmel added.

Howard Elkus, Founding Principal of Elkus Manfredi Architects and chief architect of Al Maryah Central said, „Our goal from the start has been to design a destination that will weave seamlessly into the rich tapestry of Abu Dhabi life. Retail forms the social space of any mixed-use development. In this region, it is more important than ever. Connectivity is the driving concept behind the successful design of this development. It is crucial to not only connect the rest of the island to Al Maryah Central, but also to create streets of shops and pedestrianized walkways inside the development that allow visitors to move easily around the entire destination - from the entry points at street level, up to the rooftop terraces, and across the length of the complex.‰

Local🕔 22 May 2016

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