Bahrain: Villamar signs agreement with Waitrose

Published March 29th, 2009 - 01:15 GMT

Waitrose, a high-end supermarket chain owned by British retailer John Lewis in partnership with Fine Fare Food Market LLC, will be opening its first supermarket in the Kingdom of Bahrain at the US$800-million Villamar @ the Harbour project. According to an announcement from Gulf Holding Company (GHC) today, the supermarket chain has signed an initial agreement to occupy 837 sqm.


Founded in 1904, Waitrose has over 198 branches across the United Kingdom and specialises in offering high quality food products and valuable customer service. The company plans to expand its operations in the Middle East by opening around 20 supermarkets across the UAE and Gulf by 2010.


Commenting on the initial agreement, Mr. Walid Saarti, Chief Operating Officer - Gulf Management & Services the sales and leasing company of Gulf Holding Company projects said: “We are delighted that an organisation with such an impressive lineage will commence its Bahrain operations from our precincts. The agreement clearly signifies that GHC’s flagship project - Villamar @ the Harbour – is emerging as the foremost waterfront residential development not just in Bahrain but in the entire region. With construction progressing rapidly and on schedule, we look forward to the supermarket’s opening. We are confident our project facilities and infrastructure will complement Waitrose’s operations, appealing to upper-medium and high-end shoppers by providing them a unique urban district shopping experience.”


The 10,000 sq m trapezoid-shaped open-air shopping centre surrounded by water has on the lines of Rocky Ridge Town Centre in California, USA. Comprising three zones which includes the shopping centre , retail shops, supermarket, pharmacy, coffee shops and restaurants surrounded by a transparent glass arcade that can be opened or closed, depending on the island weather. Visitors will have the option of arriving by water taxis at the two docks at Villamar or by the pedestrian bridge linking the Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) towers to the project.


The shopping centre has around 1,600 parking spaces at ground level for visitors, with additional parking available at BFH’s multi-level car park adjacent to the supermarket.


Waitrose has maintained its reputation over the years for providing good quality food products. Through its base at Villamar, the company plans to give shoppers a unique experience that packages the finest quality. Special attention will be paid to accommodating locally sourced products to meet the needs of its Bahraini customers.


Spread across 35,900 sq m, Villamar @ the Harbour is BFH’s unique, luxury residential component comprising five components  It is scheduled for completion during the 2nd half of  2010.

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