DUBAI, April 16 The opening of a $1 billion
shopping centre being built on an island off the coast of Abu
Dhabi has been pushed back by two years until 2020 partly due to
issues with its design and delays in receiving approvals, the
developer's chief executive said on Sunday.
A new tender to build Reem Mall on Reem Island, which was
due to open in 2018, will be awarded later this year, Al
Farwaniya Chief Executive Shane Eldstrom told reporters at a
press conference in Dubai.
Reem Mall, to feature 450 stores and an indoor snow park
across 2 million square feet of leaseable space, will cost "just
over $1 billion" to build, Eldstrom said.
Reem Island is part of Abu Dhabi city and is just a few
kilometres from Al Maryah Island, where Abu Dhabi has set up its
financial district and where another $1 billion shopping centre
will open in 2018.
Dubai conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim had been
picked to operate the indoor snow park, a family entertainment
centre and cinema complex in Reem Mall, it was announced at the
Majid Al Futtaim owns and operates Mall of the Emirates in
Dubai, which features an indoor ski slope.
Reem Mall will be financed by Kuwait's National Real Estate
Company (NREC) and United Projects for Aviation Services Company
(UPAC), partners in Al Farwaniya, and through funding raised
from local and international banks, Eldstrom said.
He declined to give further details.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell, editing by Louise Heavens)