Majid Al Futtaim, the developer behind Mall of the Emirates, has revealed it pulled out of the Arzanah mixed-use project in Abu Dhabi. Peter Walichnowski, the chief executive of the Dubai-based developer, said it withdrew from the project with Capitala, a joint venture between Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, and CapitaLand, of Singapore. He said the decision came after the project site in Abu Dhabi was reduced, restricting the size of mall they were able to build.
"They reduced the land and it didn't fit into our scheme of things, in terms of the sort of malls that we want to develop," said Mr Walichnowski on the sidelines of the Retail City conference, which runs alongside the Cityscape Global event in Dubai. "The land was due to be larger, so we could build a bigger mall, but with roads and setbacks the actual site area was a lot smaller." Mr Walichnowski said the parting about a year ago was amicable.
Mubadala said the Arzanah would go ahead. "Majid Al Futtaim Group is a valued partner of Mubadala," it said. "While their contributions to the Arzanah retail project have been invaluable, we have mutually decided to not move ahead on this particular project together." Arzanah, Capitala's flagship project, is a 1.4 million sq metre mixed-use development in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque District of Abu Dhabi.