One of the major investors of Abu Dhabi’s Reem Mall said the venue is likely to open in the first quarter of 2022, when consumers are expected to have returned to normalcy after COVID-19.
Previous reports suggested that the retail, leisure and entertainment destination on Abu Dhabi’s Reem Island would open this year.
However, in a 2020 earnings investor conference call for Kuwait-based Agility, Group CFO Ehab Aziz said the mall was now 85 percent completed, and was expected to be delivered in June or July 2021, with opening to take place in the first quarter of 2022.
“On the leasing side, about one third of the project is leased. I am optimistic about this investment, and maybe after all, COVID might not be entirely bad for the retail business and I'm hoping that we have reached the bottom,” he said.
Aziz added: “All of us as consumers would like to go out and restart our normal life again, we hope that this coincides with the opening of the mall in Q1 of next year and then hopefully we have some positive momentum.
“It is a magnificent asset; a retail, family and entertainment destination in Abu Dhabi. As I mentioned before, probably it is not going to be our best investment, but I don't necessarily feel it is a bad investment. It is definitely very challenging, but I think it will eventually work out.”
Reports from other outlets published at that time suggested the mall would also open in 2021.
Agility was first reported to have invested $1.2 billion in the mall in consortium with two other Kuwait-based companies, UPAC and NREC, in 2017.
The 2022 opening date was revealed in the transcript of Agility’s 2020 earnings call posted to Dubai Financial Market (DFM). Work on the mall, located in the Najmat District on Reem Island and which will contain 450 shops, restaurants and a cinema, started in 2017.
(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)
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