“Future-proofing” one of the capital’s retail wonderlands…

The UAE takes shopping seriously. And thanks to its dense network of modern mega mall space, much of which is represented by engineering ‘just wow’ projects, it’s become a retail tourism destination for trend-chasers and sale-seekers across the world.

At 2.5 million square feet, Yas Mall is a substantial unit (we’re fat-shaming, just suggesting it has big bones) and although its a relatively young shopping centre, having opened its doors at the end of 2014, it still needs to keep pace with the upcoming generations.

It’s for that reason, capital developers Aldar Investment is pumping in a half-billion dirham investment that will transform 40 per cent of the existing leasable space, into a “future proof” retail and dining offering.

Work is scheduled to be completed over the next 12-18 months, even with the current challenges of the prevailing world health climate.

What upgrades can we expect?

Aldar has announced that it will be expanding the already impressive food and beverage portfolio by 40 per cent. Part of which will be a new food hall with outdoor terraces, located at the North Entrance.

The boulevard which currently connects the mall with Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Clymb Abu Dhabi, along with some amazing restaurants — will become the centre’s sports hub, with five exciting stores inbound.

A little thing called fashion sweetie

Marching coquettishly down the catwalk, several bang-on-trend fashion brands including the first Urban Outfitters store in Abu Dhabi; the capital’s second Kendall + Kylie Boutique.

We’re also getting a home furnishings district, with stores such as EBarza and Ethan Allen to help fancy-up your own manor.

Going greener

Yas Mall’s iO-Yes upgrade will also flex some big environmental muscle, reduce the annual carbon footprint by 59 tons.

They’re upping recycling commitments, installing a biosoil composter, and replacing 60,000 lamps with LED lighting alternatives.

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In a communication announcing the new plans, Jassem Busaibe, Chief Executive Officer, Aldar Investment said: “Since opening its doors over six years ago, Yas Mall has become Abu Dhabi’s leading retail and leisure destination.

“Our transformational plan for the mall is in anticipation of evolving customer needs and in line with developing retail trends globally. The project will deliver a new and diversified offering to enrich the customer experience.

“We are also future-proofing a key asset that is at the heart of Yas Island and its many world-class attractions, drawing in more local and international visitors. It will also allow us to serve new communities growing around Yas Mall.”

Ensuring this absolute Yas Kween remains the much-loved shopping stop it is today.

Yas Island, open Sat to Mon and Wed 10am to 10pm, Thu to Fri and Tue 10am to midnight. Tel: (02) 414 6401, @yasmallad