Architectural Digest (UAE)
The new expansion of The Galleria fuses lifest yle -led design with breathtaking architecture, bringing a high-concept shopping and entertainment space to the UAE’s capital city
On the shimmering Abu Dhabi coastline, a new urban experience is set to change the face of retail design. The much-anticipated expansion of The Galleria Al Maryah Island, a super-regional shopping, dining and entertainment destination in the heart of the capital, will open in September.
A dynamic lifestyle hub for the Abu Dhabi community, The Galleria is adding 270 retail brands, 250,000 square feet of entertainment space and over 70 new dining options to the integrated project. Later this year, The Galleria's established Luxury Collection will also add Chanel, Piaget and Valentino to its selection of over 130 of the world's most coveted brands.
“The urban setting sets the stage for lively interactions at street level, whether it be
restaurants spilling out, public areas and zones for gathering, entrances to shops or the mall itself,” says Sherif Anis, Design Director at Gulf Related, the real estate development company behind the new expansion. “The mall is the central component in what is to become the region’s best urban mixed-use retail development.”
The design of the expansion is the undisputed star of the show. The rich and diverse collection of materials on the facade highlights the many opportunities for the building to engage with its setting in a memorable way. Inside, the spectacular grand central atrium is a soaring 43-metre high space with intricate stone floors that were painstakingly designed to feel like ‘carpet’. Each stone was hand-selected and dry-laid ahead of the final installation. “We worked with a stone specialist who helped us in determining the right variety of stones to pair with each carpet in a manner that best expresses its design intent,” Anis adds.
The Galleria's expansion will house hundreds of speciality stores – including flagship stores from retailers like Zara and H&M and popular international brands Lululemon and Sephora. A selection of dining options, such as the first-to-theregion culinary concept Central Kitchens, will deliver a carefully curated collection of exciting food and beverage offerings.
Designed by David Rockwell, the decorative wall panels in the Central Kitchens combine geometric shapes with patterns inspired by nature and a mix of finishes. “The intent of the wall panels was to relate to the concept of a mashrabiyya screen without overtly adopting the cultural detailing so prevalent in the region – it is a modern interpretation and abstraction,” Anis explains. “Ultimately, the Central Kitchens Food Hall is by far one of the most beautiful and interesting urban spaces I have been to,” Anis adds. “Not just in Abu Dhabi or the UAE, but in the world.”
"THE GALLERIA WILL BECOME THE REGION'S BEST URBAN MIXED USE RETAIL DEVELOPMENT"