Al Maryah Island – Abu Dhabi’s Finest

Located adjacent to Abu Dhabi’s beachfront Corniche, Al Maryah Island, formerly known as Sowwah Island, has been designated as the center of Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District. It is strategically situated at a midpoint between Abu Dhabi’s existing downtown district, the upcoming developments at Al Reem Island and Mina Zayed, as well as the new cultural district on Saadiyat Island. Now years in the making, the property, which has been modelled by Mubadala Real Estate and Hospitality, is nearly complete and forms a key component of the Government’s Capital 2030 Plan aimed at increasing Abu Dhabi’s global reputation.

The City’s Corporate Core

Of pivotal note is Al Maryah’s vision as a destination for luxury lifestyle. Sowwah Square offers a host of high-profile tenants, including the island’s flagship commercial property, the new headquarters of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

“Al Maryah Island is being positioned as the new downtown and lifestyle destination in the UAE,” states Kevin Ryan, Managing Director of Development at Gulf Related, the developer of The Galleria.


“The vision of the Island is international in quality, comprising shopping, dining, lodging and offices – bringing the best of international development to Abu Dhabi in one location.”

The Galleria – The Hallmarks of Perfection

Part of a multi-year strategy to develop a 186,000 square metre leasable area of retail on the island by 2017, The Galleria is a  retail and dining destination catering to mid-level and speciality retailers. The shopping centre includes luxury fashion brands such as: Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Dior, Fendi and Dolce & Gabbana; and fine jewellery and watch brands like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari and Chaumet.

The Galleria also offers several international labels for the first time in Abu Dhabi including Tory Burch, Jimmy Choo, Celine, Mulberry, Marc Jacobs, Berluti, Diane von Furstenburg and Boucheron.

With the UAE’s many centers for luxury lifestyle and shopping, what makes The Galleria on Al Maryah Island so special and different from what the country already has?

“Abu Dhabi is lacking a luxury lifestyle destination that combines dining with shopping,” says Ryan.

“There’s no place in the city that parallels The Galleria.”


The Galleria’s main differences to other luxury destinations within the UAE are its size, which is three times that of The Avenue at Etihad Towers, and its pivotal location as a central business district within the city.

“Next to The Dubai Mall, we have the best collection of luxury lifestyle in the UAE,” says Ryan.

Taste Matters

Offering an exclusive shopping and dining experience, the island will provide an endless supply of cafés, bistros and restaurants. From cafe classics at Emporio Armani Caffe and Café Bateel to gourmet venues such as Zuma and the French-inspired Bentley Bistro & Bar. Al Bandar’s Nolu’s is opening a new branch called Nolu’s Downtown, while New York’s Magnolia Bakery feels like a slice of the Big Apple right in our backyard.

In addition, The Galleria will be home to the Thai restaurant Lemongrass, the Italian chain Carluccio’s, the Mexican eatery Taqado, traditional Hyderabadi Biryani Pot and New Zealand’s very own Burger Fuel – providing the mall with a truly international variety of dining locations set to open from today and throughout the rest of this year.


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In-House Editor

To say Hamyar has traveled would be something of an understatement. His passion for travelling has taken him from Tanzania to Dubai and an enviable number of places between, and the memories he captures always make for interesting reading. As well as travel, other subjects which fall into his expert remit include culture, design, fashion and cars - in other words, a born globetrotting who is destined for great things if his aspirations so far are anything to go by.

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