17 April 2017
By Megha Merani
The construction contract for the $1 billion Reem Mall in Abu Dhabi is expected to be awarded before the end of this year, a company executive said on Sunday.
The project, developed by Al Farwaniya Property Developments, was retendered in January 2017 following a two year delay, CEO Shane Eldstrom told Thomson Reuters Projects on the sidelines of a press conference in Dubai on Sunday.
“Last year we selected a preferred contractor but unfortunately we weren’t able to finalise the agreement, and as a result we had to retender the project,” he explained, declining to mention the name of the contracting firm.
He cited design changes and issues with the approvals process as causes for the delay.
Snow Park design in progress
The development includes a snow park, cinema complex, and family games centre. Al Farwaniya announced at the press conference that it had selected Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim to operate these facilities.
Damien Latham, CEO – Leisure and Entertainment at Majid Al Futtaim, said the snow park design was underway.
“We are in concept design stage and we’re just shifting that into schematic design sign-off right now,” he told Thomson Reuters Projects after the press conference. “I think we’ll be finishing detail design by the end of this year,” he said, adding that global design firm Thinkwell Group had been appointed to undertake the work.
The snow park will be built as part of the main construction contract for the mall.
Majid Al Futtaim will leverage its experience creating other snow-themed projects at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates and Cairo’s Mall of Egypt to improve the efficiency of the project, Latham said.
“When we launched Ski Egypt, we actually improved the overall efficiency of our snow making by 20 percent and that’s majorly substantial,” he said. “And we will continue to strive to make those energy enhancements when we look to detail design with Reem Mall. We’ve already built in some of those learning from the last 11 years.”
The improvements by Majid Al Futtaim are part of Eldstrom’s aim for the Reem Mall project to achieve more than the minimum Pearl rating on Abu Dhabi’s green building scale.
“We are actually certified as Estidama Pearl 2 (rating),” he said, adding that the snow park was factored into the overall calculation of the project’s footprint.
The mall, originally due to open in 2018, is now due to complete in 2020, Eldstrom said.
The $1 billion project will be financed by Kuwait’s National Real Estate Company, United Projects for Aviation Services Company, partners in Al Farwaniya, and through funding raised from banks, he added.
© Zawya Projects News 2017