MIDDLE EAST

DEVELOPER TAMDEEN GROUP OPENS ITS NEW AL KOUT MALL IN KUWAIT

Developer Tamdeen Group has opened the latest addition to the Al Kout project, Kuwait’s largest waterfront retail and leisure destination. Al Kout Mall has organised a month-long program of events, including international acrobatic shows from the UK, and an indoor hot air balloon experience for children, as part of the opening celebrations. With the addition of Al Kout Mall, the Al Kout project now offers a total of 100,000sq m of retail opportunities, across 360 shops spread over three floors. It also offers dedicated dining areas and a restaurant terrace is set to open shortly as well as parking for 3,600 cars. Al Kout Mall is home to Infunity Sea, the latest addition to the world of family entertainment while Cinescape will also open during the third quarter of 2018. Another feature coming to the mall next year is Kuwait Karting which will be located on the roof.

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Al-futtaim has revealed that its new lifestyle shopping destination in jebel ali will be called festival plaza. The name has been chosen in recognition of al-futtaim’s successful festival city malls brand located across the mena region. Following its ground-breaking in march 2017, the mall is planned to open in the fourth quarter of 2019. Festival plaza will have a retail mix to appeal to visitors looking for the best in lifestyle, home, food, hypermarket and entertainment brands. The two biggest announcements so far have been new concept stores for both ikea and al-futtaim ace.

SAUDI ARABIA LAUNCHES FIRST CINEMA



Saudi Arabia’s first cinema in over three decades opened last month in Riyadh, after a ban was lifted last year as part of a far-reaching liberalisation drive. AMC Entertainment has been granted the first licence to operate cinemas, with Saudi state media saying the US giant is expected to open 40 cinemas across 15 Saudi cities over the next five years. The news comes after AMC Entertainment signed a non-binding agreement in December with Saudi Arabia’s vast Public Investment Fund to build and operate cinemas across the kingdom. International theatre chains have long eyed the kingdom as the Middle East’s last untapped mass market of more than 30 million people, the majority of whom are under 25. AMC will still face stiff competition from other heavyweights including Dubai-based VOX Cinemas, the leading operator in the Middle East.

AQUAVENTURE WELCOMES NEW KIDS AREA



Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis, The Palm made a splash last month with launch of a brand-new children’s area called ‘Splashers Island’. Located next to the current children’s area ‘Splashers Mountain’, and at almost three times the current footprint, the new addition, suitable for families with children 1.20m and below, features 20 new thrilling water attractions and seven exciting waterslides, as well as the addition of a giant dry-play structure. The new area is conveniently located right next to ‘Splashers Mountain’, which currently features a large wet play area including climbing frames, hanging bridges, water cannons and two enormous tipping buckets that send over 1,000 litres of water gushing down onto those who dare to stand below. Both areas have been exclusively designed for families only and guests will be offered access to both Splashers Island and Splashers Mountain within the cost of an Aquaventure ticket.

MAF SET TO LAUNCH TILAL AL GHAF MIXED-USE COMMUNITY

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UAE-based retail giant Majid Al Futtaim is set to launch Tilal Al Ghaf, its new flagship community in Dubai. The new Tilal Al Ghaf is a mixed-use lifestyle destination that is set to elevate community living standards in the MENA region. It will feature a selection of freehold residences, ranging from apartments, townhouses and bungalows, through to substantial luxury villas, intersecting with natural landscapes. Walkable neighbourhoods of high-quality homes will be blended with retail, dining, leisure and cultural precincts, offering places to live, work and play. Laid out across three million square metres, the community is a phased project that will feature over 6,500 mid to upper-luxury homes upon completion in 2027.

SHUROOQ AND NAKHEEL PARTNER FOR NEW RETAIL PROJECT



The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and master developer Nakheel have collaborated on a new joint venture, that will bring a new community retail centre to Sharjah. The upcoming project, Nakheel’s first outside its home emirate of Dubai, has a total estimated development value of AED75M. Under the agreement, signed recently by HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, and Nakheel CEO Sanjay Manchanda, the two organisations will create a shopping, dining and leisure hub in Sharjah’s rapidly-expanding Al Rahmaniya district. The project, to be developed by Nakheel and managed by its retail subsidiary, Nakheel Malls, joins an ever-growing collection in Nakheel’s retail portfolio, which currently includes 11 large-scale concepts and seven neighbourhood retail hubs, known as Nakheel Pavilions, like the one to be built in Sharjah. Design work is underway, with details about the new project to be unveiled this year. Sanjay Manchanda, Nakheel CEO, added: “We are proud to share our success by bringing our expertise, in partnership with Shurooq, to Sharjah. Retail centres are an integral element of residential communities and essential for community development. They bring a wealth of benefits to residents and their neighbourhood such as enhancing well-being among residents and providing a sense of belonging, connectivity and interaction. In the long run these amenities also help increase property values.” Nakheel is one of the world’s leading developers and a major contributor to realising the vision of Dubai for the 21st century: to assist in creating a world-class destination for living, business and tourism.