Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District (CBD) on Al Maryah Island builds momentum as Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2013 shines spotlight on the Capital’s urban development
Abu Dhabi, 15 April, 2013: Operational since March 2012, Sowwah Square, the heart of Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District (CBD) on Al Maryah Island, has enjoyed significant commercial and project development success in its first year of activity.
With 185% increase in community size, Sowwah Square is already home to over 1,500 people across a dynamic mix of 46 multi-national blue chip companies, 88% of which are private companies. Al Sila, the first tower of Sowwah Square, is at 92% occupancy and Al Maqam, tower three, has an occupancy rate of 82%. Towers 2 and 4, Al Sarab and Al Khatem respectfully, were completed in December 2012 and are already receiving strong market interest.
In the lead up to Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2013 Ali Eid Al Mheiri, Executive Director, Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure (MREI), reflected on the importance of Sowwah Square: “Sowwah Square marks the completion of Phase 1 of Al Maryah Island’s development and an important milestone in the Government’s strategic urban development plan. The Island has been carefully designed to meet long-term commercial and community needs of the Capital. It is clearly evident that Sowwah Square is already providing a compelling and dynamic environment which is having a positive impact on the greater Abu Dhabi urban environment.”
Strategically located at the midpoint between Abu Dhabi's existing downtown and new residential districts, Sowwah Square has seen a rapid increase in its business community within its first operational year whilst bringing to completion all four commercial towers. All on-island roads have been finished, while there are four bridges, linking to mainland Abu Dhabi and Reem Island, fully operational with nine more under construction.
Sustaining the momentum built in the first year of operational success, 2013 will witness the opening of the Rosewood Abu Dhabi - a 5* world class, ultra-luxury hotel- in May 2013 while The Galleria at Sowwah Square – a luxury shopping and dining destination - is still on track for delivery in August 2013. All on-island roads have been finished, while there are four bridges fully operational with nine more under construction. In 2013 the district will truly become the thriving urban-hub with an offering for everyone.
Al Mheiri continued: “Following the success of our first year in operation, we look forward to an exciting 2013 that will see the opening of financial, leisure and retail assets that complement the commercial space and bring to life the district as the mixed-use urban destination it was conceptualised as.”
Much of Sowwah Square’s success to date is due the high market demand for Grade-A commercial space in Abu Dhabi. High levels of quality, functionality and sustainability of Sowwah Square’s commercial space is driving a critical mass of financial, legal and management consultancy firms – including Deloitte, GE Corporate, Gulf Capital, Booz & Co, JP Morgan, Macquarie Bank, Herbert Smith Freehills, The Regulation and Supervision Bureau and Al Tamimi to name a few; making it a catchment area for leading local and international companies in support of the UAE’s diversifying economy. An analysis of tenants showed that 67% of tenants are International blue chip companies, 21% are local organizations and 12% regional companies.
As Sowwah Square becomes the mixed-use destination it was designed to be, the Al Maryah Island Master Plan continues to mature through exciting new investments and the development of already purchased investment plots. Leading local financial institutions including National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and Al Hilal Bank have purchased development plots. The banks will each be building a commercial tower. The Farglory Group (Farglory) purchased four land plots - the first foreign investment in Al Maryah Island. Recently named “Maryah Plaza”, these four plots will be developed in phases and when complete will provide approximately 153,000 sqm of gross floor area (GFA) of mixed use all connected by climate controlled pedestrian passageways.
In a recent sale of four land plots, Gulf Related - a regional development company – will deliver a further 288,200 sqm GFA to the existing mixed use retail district entitled Sowwah Central. The expansion will provide a world class regional retail destination that will include residential and hotel developments.
This growth both in Sowwah Square and Al Maryah Island is bringing to life the Abu Dhabi Government’s 2030 Vision and catalyzing the new and exciting urban fabric of Abu Dhabi.
- ENDS -
About Al Maryah Island
Al Maryah Island (formerly Sowwah Island) has been designated as Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District (CBD), which forms a key component of the UPC’s Capital 2030 Plan. Located at the midpoint between Abu Dhabi's existing downtown and new business and residential districts, Sowwah Square marks the completion of phase 1 of Al Maryah Island’s development and an important milestone in the Government’s strategic urban development plan.
About Sowwah Square
Sowwah Square has been developed by Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure (MREI) and modeled on the world’s leading mixed-use, 24-hour CBDs. It comprises four international Grade A office towers with Tower 1, Al Sila, already home to a mix of blue-chip global companies including Deloitte, Clifford Chance, Al Tamimi & Company, Latham & Watkins, Mubadala GE Capital, Norton Rose, Baker Botts, King & Spalding and the Regulation & Supervision Bureau. Sowwah Square is adjacent to the ultra-luxury Rosewood Hotel Abu Dhabi and The Galleria at Sowwah Square, a 33,000 sqm retail and dining precinct that connects the entire mixed-use development to the waterfront.
Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure (MREI) operates as an equity partner and asset manager, focusing on social infrastructure projects and Real Estate investment opportunities, both within the UAE and overseas.
The unit develops strategic commercial, residential and leisure districts that are central to Abu Dhabi’s long term development plans, as well as delivering supporting infrastructure essential to the Emirate’s economic diversification. These major projects are part of the government’s 2030 plan, a comprehensive strategy to develop the capital into an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable, world-class city.
MREI works to international standards of quality, functionality and sustainability. A number of local hospitality sector projects are attracting world-class hotel and leisure operators, which are vital to Abu Dhabi’s growing luxury tourism industry.
Key Real Estate projects include Sowwah Square, the heart of Abu Dhabi’s new visionary Central business district on Al Maryah Island. The unit is also responsible for the development of several pioneering infrastructure projects including the UAE University, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and Zayed University Abu Dhabi’s new campus.
Collectively, these investments remain true to the Mubadala mandate by delivering positive financial and social benefit for the community while supporting the socio-economic development of the Emirate and providing long-term financial returns.
For more information please contact:
Tristan Hills-Bos, Public Relations Manager, Edelman Communications