Work on the billion-dirham Al Qana, Abu Dhabi’s newest leisure destination, is nearing completion, with its opening likely to be at the end of this year.
The much-anticipated waterfront social dining and entertainment destination is the first-ever build-operate-transfer (BOT) model implemented by the Abu Dhabi Municipality (ADM) and is jointly developed by Al Barakah International Investment.
Featuring seven anchor destinations spanning across 2.4 km of scenic and picturesque waterfront walkways, Al Qana hosts the largest standalone cinema in Abu Dhabi, the Middle East’s largest aquarium, the first-of-its-kind lifestyle hub including wellness facilities, the first-to-the-UAE VR zone, E-Sports arena, standalone kids’ zone and landscaped community spaces.
These state-of-the-art facilities include The National Aquarium, The Bridge Wellness and Lifestyle Hub, Cinemacity Al Qana, Pixel (E-Sports and gaming hub) and dining and entertainment activities for families and children.
International Construction Contracting Company (ICCC) is the lead contractor in charge of the development of the project.
Fouad Mashal, CEO of Al Barakah International Investment, says: “The Marina is a fitting addition to Al Qana, the full-service waterfront entertainment and dining destination. The project is located adjacent to five-star hotels, making Al Qana Marina accessible for both residents and tourists.”
Despite the unexpected market conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Al Qana team has been working around the clock to deliver this world-class project to the UAE’s capital, Mashal says.
“Al Qana is our ultimate touristic project that will provide a very unique experience we all envision for the entertainment and tourism sectors in the UAE. As the tourism sector recovers from the travel restrictions due to the pandemic, Al Qana would be ready to receive visitors in 2021. We are almost there, and it will be worth the wait!” he remarks.
“Our top priority is to adapt to the new social norms in place to ensure the safety of visitors coming to this special social destination. Our team is working on new protocols and procedures with the relevant authorities to ensure the required guidelines are applied fully at our premises,” he adds.
Among the components that have been completed is the Al Qana Marina, a chic and exquisite venue which will also feature seafood restaurants, cafes and marine services.
Boat owners can sign up for a membership scheme at the iconic marina and choose one of its 105 spectacular berths that can accommodate yachts up to 65 ft. A number of services will be introduced to facilitate boat owners who have leased berths. These include the ice service, vessel valet with cleaning packages, vessel mooring assistance and cover preparation, 24/7 security, vessel monitoring, emergency response equipment, transient berthing, and pickup/drop off berthing.
Al Qana Marina will host motorised and non-motorised water sports activities as well as luxury chartering experiences. A specific parking zone will be available for the marina visitors with around 400 parking spaces.
Stuart Gissing, General Manager of Al Qana, says: “There are high expectations for Al Qana, a cornerstone development for the future of the UAE. It’s the realisation of a seven-year vision from Al Barakah International Investment that will positively enhance Abu Dhabi’s reputation. We are committed to bring to the market a new way of experiencing entertainment. We are not a mall but a vibrant lifestyle destination of entertainment for all age brackets.”
Thanks to its expansive outdoor spaces that cater to the need for socially distanced dining, the destination aims to evolve as a contemporary dining hub with a focus on outdoor seating and spacious interiors that host both local and international food and beverage (F&B) concepts in more than 95 outlets.
Al Qana has revealed the first of its F&B offerings, Grandiose – the UAE’s leading contemporary and urban supermarket chain – with the other cafes and restaurants to be announced in the coming months.
Grandiose will introduce a vibrant, community-minded gourmet dining concept and food hall to Al Qana, created especially with the tastes and expectations of Abu Dhabi’s community in mind.
This is Grandiose’s fourth store in the capital city, which will be located in The Community Place at Al Qana, covering a total area of 13,270 sq ft including the food hall.
Gissing comments: “Setting up a supermarket and food hall in a customer journey is a trend that has grown in popularity over the past year in the UAE and the world. We are excited to expand the concept into Abu Dhabi through our collaboration with Grandiose, as Al Qana’s unique location within the capital and its huge array of entertainment and dining options provide all the ingredients to create a thriving lifestyle hub within the destination. The food hall complements the plethora of other unique local and dining experiences Al Qana has to offer to become a foodie location of choice in Abu Dhabi and affirms our commitment to continually develop and introduce new and fresh ideas to the market.”