The 214,000m2 Al Maryah Central mall is being constructed by Brookfield Multiplex, with a scheduled completion date of March 2018.

It will host two US department stores, a Macy’s and a Bloomingdale’s, in addition to 400 other retail stores, 145 restaurants and cafés, and a 20–screen cinema complex.

Subsequent phases will include residential units, as well as a hotel in two high rise towers, which will be delivered a year after the retail component — rounding off the development project in 2019.

Kevin Ryan, MD, real estate development, Gulf Related, said: “In the case of Macy’s, Al Tayer Group — which owns the licence rights for Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s — is developing a [roof–top] lifestyle and F&B concept. On the Bloomingdale’s side, the lobby of the hotel that we’re developing in the next phase of the project actually extends over the roof–top with outdoor cafés.

“What we’re really doing is best practice international standards. Starting from our parent company, everything we’ve done through the design process has looked at shopping centres in Asia and Europe and the US as comparable — so whether it’s interiors or how food courts are being done, or cinemas, digital and social media integration into the centre. We study what’s being done worldwide.”

He continued: “We’re using Rockwell to design our food courts and our food hall, so even though Elkus Manfredi Architects are retail architects, we brought an even higher level of F&B–oriented specialist to do our major food presentations.”

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He added that 28 other F&B brands under Al Tayer’s umbrella will be present in the project.

In addition, Ryan revealed plans for the F&B in the hotels in the adjacent development.

“What you will see in the relatively near future is we’re actively leasing six venues for F&B outlets on the Four Seasons podium, and then we have another seven on the Rosewood side.”

Last reported, Four Seasons Abu Dhabi now has its framing completed, and when it opens in Q2 2016, the 34–floor hotel will feature 190 hotel guestrooms, 54 serviced apartments and 1290m2 of meeting and conference facilities.

The first Four Seasons in Abu Dhabi will also have a rooftop pool and 300m2 garden looking over Al Maryah Island’s waterfront promenade.