The BSBG-designed Festival Plaza officially opened its doors to the public yesterday, with thousands of shoppers visiting the mall, most of whom were keen to visit the UAE’s newest – and largest – IKEA store. Queues stretched for as far as the eye could see, with some shoppers reportedly arriving outside the IKEA store before 7am, more than three hours in advance of the store’s official opening.
Members of BSBG’s senior management team were in attendance for the mall’s opening ceremony. Andrew Bereza (Partner), Kevin Harper (Partner), Jamie Armitage (Director of Construction), Chris Brown (Associate Director), Seyed Hameed (Associate) and Alan McIntyre (Senior Architectural Technologist) attended on behalf of the project team, with BSBG having taken responsibility for the design and delivery of the architecture, structure and interiors of the shopping destination on a fast-track construction programme.
Festival Plaza is a retail mall with a distinct focus on state-of-the-art features that provide a convenient shopping experience. Within the mall, in addition to the IKEA store, an ACE Hardware store, a Lulu Hypermarket and Marks & Spencers are some of the retail outlets of note, with 120 units in total, 40 F&B outlets and a food court that seats 500 people.
Associate Director Chris Brown explained more about the highly anticipated mall and IKEA. “Festival Plaza required us to adopt a minimalist and precise design approach to create a mall that integrates seamlessly with the largest IKEA in the UAE, and is also a fantastic destination in its own right” he said. “The IKEA store is the main attraction, and presents a unique interactive experience for those that are familiar with the traditional way in which an IKEA functions.”
Thousands of shoppers are expected visit Festival Plaza on a daily basis, with the catchment area comprising the new wasl residential development nearby, and also Dubai Marina, Discovery Gardens and Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Chris added: “We’ve worked with the client to create a community mall experience for the thousands of visitors expected here each day. This involved the introduction of activated spaces and entertainment anchors to present Festival Plaza as much more than a retail destination. We must extend our thanks to our colleagues at Al Futtaim Group Real Estate, and congratulate them on the successful opening, which has been delivered on schedule. We’re sure Festival Plaza is well-equipped to become one of the most popular retail destinations in the entire UAE.”
For BSBG, Festival Plaza was a full service, multi-disciplinary project, comprising the roles of concept design, executive architecture, interior design, structural engineering, lead consultancy and construction supervision.
For more information on Festival Plaza, visit the project page here.