The decision to defer the mall opening date has been taken in light of the global disruption in the retail sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The additional months will allow all of City Centre Al Zahia’s tenant partners increased time to stabilise and prepare their new stores effectively, to the standards that they and Majid Al Futtaim adhere to, and open at a time that is more conducive for trading.
Shireen El Khatib, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim – Shopping Malls Business Unit, said: “From the day we open the doors of City Centre Al Zahia, our ambition is to offer a compelling retail and entertainment experience to the Northern Emirates community. This ambition is shared by all of our tenants, and as an industry leader, we feel it is our responsibility to support them in any way we can towards achieving this shared goal”.
“In line with our delivery commitments, the construction of the mall has run to schedule since we first broke ground. However, in light of the global changes that have impacted the retail industry, we have taken the prudent decision to revise the opening date of City Centre Al Zahia in the best interest of our customers and tenants. We remain confident that City Centre Al Zahia will become a landmark destination in the Northern Emirates and a signature addition to the Majid Al Futtaim family”.
The revised opening date adds to the measures Majid Al Futtaim has already taken since the beginning of the pandemic in support of its tenant partners across all shopping malls including the waiving of rental payments, whilst malls were closed. In line with Majid Al Futtaim’s omnichannel strategy, it has also launched two new online shopping platforms for the UAE to enable tenants to reach customers and continue trading. This includes the ‘Trends At Your Doorstep’ initiative that was recently launched by Mall of The Emirates, and ‘Marketplace’ for other Majid Al Futtaim malls.
Stretching across 136,200 sqm of gross leasable space, City Centre Al Zahia will become the largest mall in the Northern Emirates and the centrepiece of Majid Al Futtaim’s developments in Sharjah once open. The upcoming mall will provide a mix of more than 360 new and established brands, all housed within a contemporary retail environment reflecting stunning architecture and comprising of relaxing public spaces.
City Centre Al Zahia’s primary trade area will include most zones of Sharjah, alongside the Emirates of Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah. The mall will also connect seamlessly to Majid Al Futtaim’s one-million-square-metre residential community, Al Zahia, to place a premium shopping, dining, and entertainment hub on the doorstep of many residents in Sharjah’s emerging urban centre.