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Mubadala Partners With Gulf Related For Signature Retail Destination on Sowwah Island

‘The Galleria at Sowwah Square’ to become Abu Dhabi’s premium shopping and dining destination

26 January 2011

‘The Galleria at Sowwah Square’ to become Abu Dhabi’s premium shopping and dining destination

Mubadala Real Estate & Hospitality (‘MREH’) today announced it has entered into a joint venture (JV) with Gulf Related, a regional real estate development company. The new JV has been formed to develop, lease, and operate ‘The Galleria at Sowwah Square’ a 33,000 square meter of Gross Leasable Area (355,000 sqft) signature retail and dining concept in Sowwah Square, the premium commercial real estate development located at the heart of Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District (CBD) on Sowwah Island.

Scheduled to open in late 2012, ‘The Galleria at Sowwah Square’ will be a vibrant new shopping and dining destination with a full range of luxury to mid-market international retail offerings and internationally branded food and beverage outlets. This scheme has already generated significant interest from the international retail and restaurant communities.

‘The Galleria at Sowwah Square’ has been designed with a focus on quality and cutting edge design, a handcrafted tenant mix and well-conceived parking options which include dedicated parking as well as VIP and valet parking. A stunning sculptural atrium roof will be the highlight of the design, providing an iconic image for the new center with spectacular views of Abu Dhabi’s skyline.

Access to all project components will reflect a truly mixed-use strategy offering the same level of premium quality service offered to the blue chip tenants of the four Sowwah Square commercial towers. ‘The Galleria at Sowwah Square’ conveniently integrates shopping, dining, hotels, parking, cafes, and public spaces and is directly accessible from all four commercial towers.

Peter Wilding, Executive Director of Mubadala Real Estate & Hospitality, commented: “We are delighted to welcome another well respected partner, Gulf Related, to the Sowwah Square project. Over the past few months both our teams have worked closely together to ensure that ‘The Galleria at Sowwah Square’ delivers a unique and exciting retail and dining experience for Abu Dhabi.”

He added, “Sowwah Square is rapidly establishing itself within the region and internationally as the heart of Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District and Gulf Related’s best-in-class expertise and brand relationships will ensure that the office and hotel community, Sowwah Island’s residents and visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy a dynamic atmosphere within a unique retail and F&B destination at Sowwah Square.”

Gulf Related, formed in 2009 is a partnership between Gulf Capital, one of the Middle East’s leading alternative asset management firms, and Related Companies, one of the largest private real estate development and investment firms in the United States and developers of New York’s landmark Time Warner Center and West Palm Beach’s dynamic CityPlace.

Kenneth A. Himmel, Co-Managing Partner of Gulf Related and President and CEO of Related Urban said, “ ‘The Galleria at Sowwah Square’ offers Abu Dhabi’s most compelling opportunity to create a distinct shopping and dining destination on the waterfront as part of a dynamic mixed-use environment that will include luxury hotel flags, Grade-A office space unparalleled in the region and Abu Dhabi’s new Securities Exchange.”

He added, “Related Companies has created some of the most recognizable and celebrated mixed-use developments in the United States. We are excited to bring our expertise to Abu Dhabi through our partnership with Mubadala, leverage our strong European and U.S. retail, restaurant, and entertainment relationships, and to be a part of such a prestigious and promising development.”

The new joint venture will create a development that will set a benchmark for retail and dining in the region. ‘The Galleria at Sowwah Square’ will capitalize on the adjacent five-star Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Sowwah Square and Rosewood Abu Dhabi hotels, the region’s foremost healthcare facility, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, and approximately 183,000 leasable square meters (2 million sqft) of Grade-A office space with accommodation for over 10,000 occupants.

Dr. Karim El Solh, Co-Managing Partner of Gulf Related and CEO of Gulf Capital said, “We are very pleased that the inaugural development and investment project for Gulf Related in the region will be ‘The Galleria at Sowwah Square’. This is a highly visible and promising project and reflects the type of high-end developments Gulf Related will be pursuing in the Middle East. We have been intensely studying regional development opportunities for the last year and have singled out this development as one of the most promising and commercially viable projects in the current environment. We look forward to continuing and expanding our successful working relationship with Mubadala on this and other projects.”

Sowwah Island is a world class 114 hectare mixed-use development in the heart of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and has been designated by the emirate’s Urban Planning Council to be home to the capital’s new Central Business District for its strategic position at the focal point of the city’s business, cultural and residential areas.

When complete, Sowwah Island will be a thriving, high-density residential, retail, leisure, hotel and commercial district with a working population of 75,000 and home to 30,000 residents, living an urban lifestyle enlivened by everything the modern city dweller demands in a contemporary cityscape.

About Mubadala Development Company

Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala) is a catalyst for the economic diversification of Abu Dhabi. Established and owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, the company’s strategy is built on the management of partnerships and long-term, capital-intensive investments that deliver strong financial returns and tangible social benefits for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and contribute to the growth and diversification of its economy.

Mubadala brings together and manages a multi-billion dollar portfolio of local, regional, and international investments and partners with leading global organisations to operate businesses across a wide range of industry sectors including aerospace, energy, healthcare, industry, information communications and technology, infrastructure, real estate and hospitality. For more information about Mubadala please visit

About Mubadala Real Estate & Hospitality

Mubadala Real Estate and Hospitality (MREH) is a business unit of Mubadala focused on domestic and international projects in the real estate and hospitality sectors. A critical component of Mubadala’s broader mission, MREH is responsible for overseeing projects that are part of the development plans of Abu Dhabi and that help drive the local tourism sector.

With a mandate to drive Abu Dhabi’s long-term development and deliver key projects within Capital 2030: Urban Structure Framework Plan, MREH develops strategic, large scale commercial, residential and leisure districts to the best standards of quality, functionality and sustainability. Key Abu Dhabi projects include the development of Sowwah Island, Sowwah Square, Arzanah and Mina Zayed Waterfront.

Within the hospitality sector, MREH is helping to drive the tourism sector by developing world-class hospitality projects in Abu Dhabi, attracting leading hotel operators to the Emirate. MREH also owns 50% of luxury hotel operator Viceroy Hotel Group and has been actively driving its expansion into key gateway cities and leading destinations around the world.

For media queries, please contact:

Salam Kitmitto
Edelman Public Relations
Tel: +971 (0)50 800 8268

About Gulf Related

Gulf Related is a regional real estate development venture primarily focused on residential and high-end mixed-use real estate destination developments in the MENA region. The venture represents a joint-venture partnership between Gulf Capital, one of the Middle East’s leading alternative asset management firms, and Related Companies, one of the largest private real estate development and investment firms in the United States.

Related Companies and its principals pioneered the concept of mixed-use urban development beginning in the 1970s with its principals developing such destinations as Water Tower Place and 730 North Michigan in Chicago, Illinois, Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts and Reston Town Center in Reston, Virginia, and Related developing such iconic developments as Time Warner Center in New York City and CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Florida.

For Gulf Related UAE media queries please contact:

Randa Mazzawi
Borouj Consulting
E-mail: Mobile: +971 (0) 50 450 6120