Louis Vuitton linked firm to help develop luxury mall in Abu Dhabi

A real estate firm sponsored by Louis Vuitton owner LVMH is part of a joint venture with TDIC to develop a shopping mall on Saadiyat Island.

A developer with ties to the owner of the Louis Vuitton designer label is to help build a 168,000 square metre luxury mall on Saadiyat Island connecting to Abu Dhabi's three planned mega museums.

The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), the master developer behind the ambitious Saadiyat Island project which includes the Louvre, Guggenheim and Zayed National Museum, yesterday announced it had formed a joint venture with L Real Estate, a private equity fund in which the Louis Vuitton owner LVMH is a minority investor.

It plans to develop what is expected to be one of the largest shopping centres in the emirate.

TDIC said “The District” mall would form a triangle between the three museums, providing shoppers with spectacular views of them and the Arabian Gulf.

It said detailed design work on the mall was about to start while construction is scheduled to start in 2014 and to be completed by 2017 to coincide with the opening of the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim Museum.

The mall is to comprise more than 550 stores, many of which would be outdoors, and include luxury and fashion brands, department stores, home furnishing chains, art galleries and family entertainment venues.

L Real Estate, a property development and investment fund sponsored by LVMH, which specialises in luxury shopping, will work alongside TDIC to develop the three-storey mall on a 17-hectare plot of land in the new cultural district.

“This new retail destination – ideally sits among Saadiyat’s inspiring museums, beautiful landscape and coastal environment – will be a regional attraction and a highly prized sought-after location for Abu Dhabi’s communities and visitors when it opens by 2017,” said TDIC’s chairman, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan.

TDIC said the mall would have four zones. Three of the four – Luxury Street, Canal and Main Street zones – would be located outdoors on two levels. Luxury Street would comprise a promenade of elite fashion stores while Canal would include cafes and restaurants next to a canal opposite the Guggenheim. The Main Street zone would also include stores and outdoor cafes.