Saadiyat museums to be linked by 17ha retail district

The District - The Canal Zone (3)

TDIC announced the launch of The District, a 17ha retail destination with indoor and outdoor shopping and dining venues in the heart of Saadiyat Island’s Cultural District.

The project is ‘strategically positioned’ among the three much-anticipated museum projects – Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Scheduled to be completed by 2017, the district comprises three levels – all above ground starting from the street level – distributed over 168,000m2 of leasable space.

It will contain a gross floor area of 258,000m2 and a total built up area of 370,000m2.

More than 550 units are 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.

It be one of the largest retail complexes in the emirate and the first-of-its-kind in the Gulf region to feature high-street outdoor fashion stores.

The project’s architecture and interior designs are said to harmonise with the surroundings, in particular, the views of the neighbouring museums located within walking distance, and the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf.

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Detailed design will start in 2013, while construction will commence in 2014 and be completed around the time of the Guggenheim museum opening in 2017.

TDIC informed Middle East Architect that it is in the process of appointing an architect for the project.

The District will contain four zones – Luxury Street, Canal, Main Street and the Crescent Arcade – all interconnected through distinctive characteristics.

Canal zone comprises a water channel running alongside food and beverage outlets dotted alongside water gardens and a boardwalk with direct views of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

The Crescent Arcade, enclosed within the shopping complex and located on all three levels, is  designed to allow natural light to shine through transparent glass ceilings.

The project is a joint venture with L Real Estate (LRE), a global real estate development and investment fund sponsored by LVMH, which specialises in creating luxury shopping destinations.

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