Sowwah Square Celebrates 185% Community Increase In First Year
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
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 AlMheiri, 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.