Abu Dhabi: Al Maryah Island solidifies position as premier lifestyle, business destination

The island, which recorded impressive growth during the pandemic, provides visitors with a 'highly connected and vibrant ecosystem' to help them thrive


Ashwani Kumar

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Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Published: Sat 19 Mar 2022, 12:42 PM

Al Maryah Island has registered impressive growth during the pandemic and solidified its position as Abu Dhabi’s premier lifestyle, business, well-being, retail and leisure destination, a top official from Mubadala said.

The island, in the heart of the Capital, is spread over 114 hectares and surrounded by a serene waterfront promenade, which celebrates festivals and hosts several events, including the New Year Eve parties and concerts. Thronged by tourists, the Island is home to Abu Dhabi Global Market and features world-class hotels like Rosewood and Four Seasons, healthcare centre Cleveland Clinic, lifestyle destination The Galleria and recently opened Apple store, and continues to witness a surge in demand for its offerings.

“All the assets across the Island have contributed to enhancing our positioning regionally and globally. In particular, we witnessed impressive growth during the pandemic, with The Galleria Al Maryah Island welcoming 31 million visitors in 2021, and over 3.4 million guests in December alone,” Ali Fikree, senior vice-president, UAE Real Estate at UAE Investments, Mubadala, told Khaleej Times.

The island, he underlined, provides businesses, professionals, visitors and residents with a “highly connected and vibrant ecosystem” to help them thrive.

“Our health and fitness assets have made important contributions. ACTIVE (recreational sports facility) welcomed 145,000 visitors last year and Fit4Fun, a new concept for community entertainment and activities recently opened in The Galleria. We recently opened Apple Al Maryah Island, a stunning new store on the island’s waterfront promenade which will undoubtedly attract more visitors.”

The island caters to a variety of customer and commercial needs through offerings including Grade A office space, luxury retail, hospitality and dining options like Mena’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 Butcher & Still at Four Seasons and Coya at The Galleria, and Park Bites rooftop parks, too.

“There are key successes across each of our priority sectors, with every entity playing a pivotal role in attracting investment. There really is something for everyone, which is a key factor for new businesses to come to the Island, and has been important throughout the pandemic.”

Fikree highlighted that because of “outstanding growth” across sectors, there has been a “significant increase in demand” for a variety of developments, office, and plot spaces too.

“We’ve already been ahead of the curve in this sense by introducing more opportunities for children, such as Fit4Fun, which complements the leisure offers we have such as ACTIVE and National Geographic Ultimate Explorer, a first of its kind immersive experience in Abu Dhabi. We have signed some major agreements to open offices on the Island.”

The island also attracted more businesses in the retail industry and witnessed a boom in luxury retail offerings at The Galleria.

“Brands such as Dior, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Fendi and Saint Laurent reinvested significantly in their boutiques at The Galleria, reopening as flagship locations or debuting exclusive designs.”

The Galleria will further diversify its offering with Abu Dhabi’s first Din Tai Fung, Barry’s Bootcamp, Train Gym, the regional debut of Mission Play! by Mattel entertainment centre, and new luxury brands including Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe.

“With each new opportunity, we are reinforcing our position as a people-centric hub and the best place in Abu Dhabi for our guests to shop, dine and play. We look forward to building on this momentum as we bring more exceptional options to Abu Dhabi and grow throughout 2022 and beyond,” Fikree said.

Fikree pointed out that “significant spaces” have already been leased and additional ones under offer.

“The Island’s business-friendly proposition continues to attract investment from companies both locally and globally. We’re expecting to build upon this growth by leasing further spaces in 2022. We have several dining outlets coming to Abu Dhabi for the first time including popular community destination Five Guys, and Spanish fine-dining restaurant Asador de Aranda.”

Marking a decade of growth, Fikree is confident about maintaining a strong upward trajectory throughout 2022 and beyond.

He added that Al Maryah Vista, with apartments and commercial areas, is “nearing completion”.


“With the increase in businesses and visitors coming to Al Maryah Island, there is an organic influx of residents who wish to live here. Al Maryah Vista will help satisfy this market need, while more residential units are definitely an option in the long term as we continue to prioritise the needs of the Abu Dhabi community across business and lifestyle sectors,” Fikree added.

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