Snow Park, ‘phygital’ store: $1.3 billion Reem Mall opens in Abu Dhabi

The mall will be launching a new app next month with a unique feature to track your way back to your car in the parking lot

by

Ashwani Kumar

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KT Photos: Ashwani Kumar
KT Photos: Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 29 May 2024, 7:24 PM

Last updated: Wed 29 May 2024, 7:27 PM

The long-awaited inauguration of the $1.3 billion Reem Mall, home to Abu Dhabi’s first indoor snow park, took place on Wednesday, and the latest shopping destination is poised to offer several unique and innovative services to community members.

It’s been a nearly 10-year journey from the groundbreaking to the soft opening more than a year back, and reaching the stage of a grand inauguration by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, said mall director Bruce von Kaufmann.


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“Part of the long delay was because of Covid. But businesses were keen to get things running. Carrefour opened in February 2022, and last year, we opened the entire precinct,” von Kaufmann told Khaleej Times.


Bruce von Kaufmann
Bruce von Kaufmann

He is expecting a footfall of 16-18 million annually at the mall with 186,000sqm gross leasable area.

The mall has been developed by Al Farwaniya Property Developments – a partnership between Agility Global, United Projects for Aviation Services Company (UPAC), and the National Real Estate Company (NREC).

The sub-zero Snow Park Abu Dhabi is the mall’s unique selling proposition among more than 400 retail units, including about 80 F&B options, said von Kaufmann.

“The Snow Park is a unique offering in Abu Dhabi. Then, we have all the retail and leisure offerings, and all high street brands Zara, Nike, Adidas, Eataly, New Shanghai, Bloomingdale’s, Vox Cinemas [with private rooms], etc. We also have a few more attractions coming up later in the year, particularly a family entertainment centre,” von Kaufmann noted.

As part of the inauguration, the mall is launching a summer carnival with fun activities, live shows, music, and entertainment.

Phygital store, cloud space

Von Kaufmann noted that several services, including a cloud space – a co-working space for small companies and startups, and a unique concept like a phygital store – combining the digital experience with the physical one, are expected to be introduced by the end of the year.

“Omni-channel [digital platform] enables our retailers and those who are not present in this region to come onboard through our marketplace. For example, if a fashion brand in Turkey doesn’t want the overheads of setting up a shop in UAE, we will enable them to test their products through our marketplace," he said.

"We’ll have a phygital store where you can see the product, you can touch and feel it, and if you like it, you order and get it delivered to your home,” he added, noting that the product, if available, can also be collected from a locker facility. “We are targeting Q3 or Q4 for the phygital store.”

App to help find lost car

The mall will be launching a new app next month with a unique feature to track your way back to your car in the parking lot, which has 6,400 spaces spread over two basement floors and four above the ground floor.

“It’s a common problem in shopping malls as people lose their cars. Our app will guide you right back to your car. Also, the parking is cleverly designed in a way that those coming from Abu Dhabi City will go to the floors above the ground, and those from Reem Island will drive to the basement,” said von Kaufmann, who has spent 23 years in the country, and is well aware of the traffic bottlenecks.

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