His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah officially launched the first phase of ‘The Avenues’, being developed by Mabanee, Kuwait’s premier real estate developer and is set to be Kuwait’s largest commercial development.
HH Sheikh Sabah was accompanied at the opening by the Crown Prince HH Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, along with other Ministers and dignitaries.
The Avenues is the first major project conceived and developed by Mabanee. The landmark project will be opened in four phases involving an overall investment of US$1 billion and is set to be Kuwait’s premier shopping, leisure and business destination when completed in 2010.
The Avenues will host the widest selection of international brands in the region spread over 216 stores including Kuwait’s first Carrefour hypermarket, the region’s largest IKEA store, Cinescape, (a ten-screen Cinema complex), 39 restaurants and cafes within a lively ‘Theatre of Food’. Phase One comprises 170,000 square metres of leasable area and over 4,000 car parking spaces.
In addition to hosting a wide range of well-known brands, The Avenues will introduce new fashion brands to the Kuwaiti marketplace, such as Forever 21, Banana Republic, and The White Co. Kuwait’s retail giant M.H. Alshaya Co. will have over 40 commercial outlets at the mall, including Starbucks, Debenhams, Mothercare, Boots, Next, H&M, and Foot Locker.
Speaking at a press conference held in the occasion of the launch, Mohammed Abdulaziz Alshaya, Chairman of Mabanee and M.H. Alshaya Company, said: “The Avenues will not only emerge as one of Kuwait’s premier leisure and shopping destinations and redefine retailing in the region, but will provide a boost to the economy and prestige of Kuwait.
“The project is being developed in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah. The Amir’s vision is aimed at raising Kuwait’s position as the region’s premier financial and business hub and an attractive destination for foreign direct investment. We are delighted to be able to play a role in making this vision come to fruition. Mabanee’s goal is to contribute to the country’s overall development.
“The Avenues will be a groundbreaking project in both the real estate and retail sectors in Kuwait, signaling a strategic plan to boost these two vital economic areas. The project also reflects cooperation between the government and private sectors. We are confident that our joint efforts will enable Kuwait to greatly enhance its current economic standing in the regional and international arena,” said Mohammed Alshaya.
Fatma Al Bader, Mabanee’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “This project was a big challenge and an opportunity for Mabanee. The Avenues represents our will to
meet and overcome these challenges.” Al Bader further said that Mabanee will pursue similar large-scale projects in the future.
“The Avenues is part of the company’s comprehensive vision,” she said. “We are committed to launching large-scale developments across the region.”
Phase Two, scheduled to open in early 2008, will add nearly 60,000 square metres of leisure and retail space and over 2,000 car parking spaces. In its third phase, set to open in late 2008, The Avenues will add a boutique mall, spa, themed restaurants, an entertainment complex, water features, and facilities that Kuwait has never seen before.
By 2010, upon the completion of the final Phase Four, the destination will feature a state-of-the-art business centre, complete with four-star hotels, office space, a convention centre and a theatre. The mall’s current 4,000 car parking spaces will rise by then to 15,000. The project is being developed in a prime site measuring 425,000 square metres. Currently Mabanee holds in excess of over 700 applications from prospective tenants for the future phases.
The Avenues will elevate the shopping experience in Kuwait to international levels and will establish new benchmarks and standards for the retail sector. This world class destination will offer shopper a unique combination of international world-renowned brands and stores and a variety of entertainment solutions for all age groups and families.
The mall itself will be a dazzling addition to Kuwait’s retail landscape. Designed to reflect the natural forms and elements of the desert and using the maximum natural light, The Avenues will set new standards in contemporary architecture.
The sand dunes, rock formations and wide blue sky characteristic of Kuwait will serve as inspiration for different areas of the mall.
The mall’s design comes from world-renowned architects Norr Consultants International, a firm that has built some of the most distinctive buildings in the Middle East, including the Emirates Towers in Dubai. Norr was selected for the project following a rigorous international design competition involving some of the world’s leading architects. Al Ghanim International are the main contractors.
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