Al-Futtaim, Aldar break ground on new Ikea venture
Abu Dhabi, February 3, 2010
UAE retail giant Al-Futtaim group and leading property developer Aldar broke ground on Ikea’s 32,000 sq m flagship store in the Middle East at Yas Island, the upcoming major leisure and entertainment destination in Abu Dhabi.
The flagship store will have 1,500 parking bays for its visitors who will be served by 35 cash tills at the back of a total sales area of 19,150 sqm. The cash tills include refund/exchange desks and Ikea Food & Beverage counters, said Ikea UAE, part of Al-Futtaim group.
Alongside the 6,000 sq m Market-Hall and 6,150 sq m Showroom Furniture areas, there will also be a 550-seat, 2,100 sqm restaurant serving popular Swedish delicacies as well as its healthy and affordable breakfast and lunches.
It will also have an exciting and fun Ikea play area for the young customers.
'The groundbreaking event clearly signals Ikea’s long term plans of being part of the country’s high growth area. It is also an enormous milestone for Ikea which will be one of the first globally recognised retailers to operate from Yas Island,' said Mile Franicevic, group director – Retail, Al-Futtaim.
Ikea UAE aims to serve 1.3 million visitors in the first year of operations when the world’s best known furniture and furnishing company opens for business on Yas Island in early 2011, he noted.
'The store will be a complete family destination and will form part of Yas Island’s retail centre based around Yas Mall, featuring a wide range of retail categories from individual boutiques to large format value retailers,' Franicevic remarked.
The flagship store will be a strong impetus for the Swedish retailer to push ahead with plans to expand into the region, he added.
'Our business continues to grow in the Middle East, more so in the present economic environment. This is proof of the strength of the IKEA brand in this part of the world and the intense loyalty of our customers. We expect around 1.3 million visitors to the Yas Island store in the first year of operations,' he said.
Franicevic said the present Ikea store in Marina Mall will relocate to Yas Island where it will be a full-fledged concept store. Ikea also operates a store at Dubai Festival City.
In addition to the Yas Marina Circuit, the host venue for the Formula 1 Etihad Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Yas Island is also home to seven hotels including the signature Yas Hotel and Yas Marina, a super-yacht marina with capacity for over 140 yachts.
Yas Links Golf, the first “Links” Golf Course in the Middle East will open in the coming months and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world’s first Ferrari theme park will open later this year.-TradeArabia News Service