Sunday, August 03, 2008

Companies combine for hotels and malls

Original Article

Mubadala's and Majid Al Futtaim's
mixed-use development will be part
of the Arzanah project in Abu Dhabi,
seen in thisartist's rendering.
The Mubadala Development Company and Majid al Futtaim (MAF) have signed a joint venture to invest in a large mixed-use project in Abu Dhabi’s new Arzanah area.

The project will be a part of the residential development that is already underway, but the new portion will include hotels, retail outlets, offices and recreation areas. It is scheduled for completion by 2012, a Mubadala spokesman said.

Arzanah is a residential complex within the Grand Mosque District, a few minutes by car from Abu Dhabi’s city centre. The area has been earmarked as one of the main stops along the planned high-speed rail system.

Arzanah was first launched in May by Capitala, the Abu Dhabi property developer and master planner that was created in a joint venture between Mubadala and CapitaLand, which is based in Singapore.

The 1.4 million square metre development will include beaches, a canal that will run through an area of high-rise apartment towers and villas, communal gardens, and walking and cycling paths. The project includes 9,000 residential units.

The first phase of construction in Arzanah – the high-rise towers and 14 townhouses – are due to be completed within a few months.

The newly announced portion of the project will include a shopping mall and retail outlets such as Carrefour, for which MAF holds the franchise licence in the Middle East.

Mubadala would not specify the area of land that the new project will occupy.
In addition to the Zayed Stadium, sporting facilities for residents include the Abu Dhabi International Tennis complex, the 40-lane Khalifa International Bowling Centre, an ice rink and an aquatic centre.

Arzanah will also be home to the Mubadala-owned Abu Dhabi Knee & Sports Medicine Centre, a health care facility specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of sports-related injuries.

One of MAF’s well known subsidiaries is Majid al Futtaim Shopping Malls, which developed the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai. In total, it operates seven malls in the region including four in the UAE, two in Egypt and one in Oman. The company has plans for new developments in Bahrain, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Although the announcement of the new project gave scant detail about the hotel element in the Arzanah project – including which management company would look after the new hotels – MAF’s hospitality business so far has developed the Kempinski, which is attached to the Mall of the Emirates. It also developed the budget Accor Hotels in Dubai.

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