We have news that’s about to change your life (well, that’s maybe a tad dramatic, but it’ll definitely change your apartment and workwear wardrobe).

A team of huge international fashion brands are rumoured to be making their UAE debut when Abu Dhabi’s newest super-mall opens its doors.

J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and LOFT have all reportedly signed up for a spot at the upcoming Dhs3.6 billion Al Maryah Central, located on the capital’s Al Maryah Island.

The downside? The mall isn’t scheduled to open until August 2018, so you’ll have to sit tight for a while.

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The news of the clothing stores’ arrival was shared on Twitter by Dubai Eye business show host Brandy Scott.

While representatives for the mall couldn’t confirm those four big names just yet, they did reveal that more than 60 brands have signed up, including womenswear fashion labels All Saints, Lululemon, Alice and Olivia, and Zara, the latter of which will be setting up shop in a 35,000-square-foot flagship store.

Spread over 2.3 million square feet (just take in a minute to soak up how huge that is), there’ll be room for around 400 shops, including the first Macy’s store outside the US and the capital’s first Bloomingdale’s.

Al Maryah mall

The developer behind the mall revealed earlier this week that 50 per cent of the space has already been leased, though the opening date has been pushed back five months from its initial launch of March 2018.

Why? To avoid opening with only discounted, out-of-season stock during sale time.

“If you don’t open in March, then literally your next time to open is August or September,” said Ken Himmel, co-managing partner of Gulf Related. “As close as we are to our construction schedules, it was too risky or too tight to try to make a March or April date.”

What else will be there?

Al Maryah will also feature three rooftop parks, a hotel and apartment, a health club, library, and 21-screen VOX cinema (with IMAX, movie fans).

There’s also going to be a 30sqft Waitrose supermarket, and plenty of F&B options for when you need a refuel between shopping sessions.

Dubai favourite and frequent award-winner La Petite Maison will be opening up its first Abu Dhabi restaurant, and the other 153 eateries on site will include branches of Roberto’s, Coya, Nusr-Et, Sa-mar, Eat Greek and Loca.

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Here’s a handy guide to the new-to-the-UAE brands (we hope)

J. Crew

J. Crew

This American heavyweight is famed for its collections of womenswear, menswear, kidswear and accessories – and has been donned by everyone from First Lady Michelle Obama to Lupita Nyong’o and the cast of Gossip Girl. With creative director Jenna Lyons at the helm, you can expect some super-slick tailoring (hello to your new boardroom power outfit), printed separates that are perfect for pulling off that It-Girl mismatched clash, and plenty of Scandi-cool dresses in easy, breezy linens, ideal for the desert heat.

Image: Jcrew.com

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters

Want to get a piece of that ’90s grunge trend that’s still sticking around? This is your guy. With heaps of artfully ripped jeans, retro faded tees, and festival-friendly strappy dresses, this will easily fuel most of your summer wardrobe. Plus, UO also stocks some slightly niche designers, and has an impressively large homeware offering (think Navajo printed rugs, copper-encased terraniums, and vintage-influenced floor lamps.

Image: Urbanoutfitters.com



This is a little sister to Urban Outfitters, and is known for its even more boho-y vibe. This is the place to go for prairie-flower printed shirt dresses and embroidered minis Kate Hudson would have proudly sported in Almost Famous (plus there’s an impressive collection of wedding-guest-appropriate cocktail dresses). However the store’s stand-out star is its interiors section, which is bursting with tasselled textiles, rich velvets day couches, bucolic wallpapers, and Balinese-inspired furniture.

Image: Anthropologie.com



Need some specialist sizing that doesn’t compromise on style? This US store should come to the rescue, boasting an inclusive collection of petite, maternity and tall womenswear. From some amazing brushed wool coats (well, there’s little call for them in our heat, but we’ll suffer in the name of fashion), to Victoriana-style shirts and ethnic-print skirts, LOFT really nails that effortless weekday-to-weekend dressing.

Image: Loft.com

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