City Centre Al Zahia: largest mall in the Northern Emirates delays opening to March 2021

Majid Al Futtaim says the decision will allow tenants more time to stabilise their business and then prepare for store opening

A rendering showing the interior design of City Centre Al Zahia
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The City Centre Al Zahia mall in Sharjah will open in March 2021, instead of this year as initially planned.

Majid Al Futtaim said development of the mall has remained on schedule, but that the decision to delay the opening was taken "in light of the global disruption in the retail sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic".

When it opens, City Centre Al Zahia will be the largest mall in the Northern Emirates. It will encompass 136,200 square metres of gross leasable space. That will make it just under half the size of the mammoth The Dubai Mall in terms of tenanted space, which has 350,000 square metres of leasable space.

Meanwhile, Mall of the Emirates has 233,467 square metres of total space, post-expansion.

City Centre Al Zahia borders University City and so far there's a Vox Cinemas and Carrefour planned, and space for 360 stores.

The exterior and car parking of the planned mall, which will now open next year
The exterior and car parking of the planned mall, which will now open next year

A Magic Planet and Little Explorers has also been announced for the mall, as well as an alfresco dining area.

The mall will connect to a new one-million-square-metre residential community called Al Zahia, parts of which are already tenanted and finished. When completely done, however, it will be made up of 1,200 homes: a mix of apartments, townhouses and villas.

The community plans also feature six themed parks, including an adventure park with rock climbing and an art park dotted with sculptures.

Here's a video showing different angles of the mostly under-construction community:

While malls have reopened across the UAE, there are stringent safety measures in place and limited capacity allowances. Majid Al Futtaim has subsequently created a digital platform for tenants in malls called Marketplace via Carrefour's website.