So in the biggest thing to happen to Abu Dhabi since, er, maybe last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (?!), the long awaited and highly anticipated Yas Mall finally opened yesterday – 19th Nov 2014, and I for one, couldn’t wait to get down there and see if it did indeed finally answer all my Abu Dhabi shopping prayers under one roof. So, eager to bring you the low down, I found a parking space and duly trotted off to take a peek…
So there’s a few shots of what it looks like inside for you, now – onto the really important part… the shops!
I was so excited to see a Lucky Brand branch. Americans will surely know the brand already for their relaxed, hippy style clothing and awesome jeans. There used to be a bunch of these stores in Dubai but then most of them sadly closed down. Mr. Arabian Notes and I were high fans of theirs for buying our jeans at when we lived in Dubai, so I’m super happy to see them now here in the capital!
There’s a lot of first’s for Abu Dhabi at Yas Mall which I’m sure we all find exciting! Jo Malone is another one… any men out there who are stuck for Christmas pressies for that special lady in their life should check this place out for amazing perfumes and the most elegant smellies, your better half will thank you for it!
Oh, I should also mention, some of my pics are a bit pants and dark… as you might expect with a new opening in this region, there were a few teething troubles on opening day with the electrics and some stores didn’t have working lights or air conditioning. They expect this to be rectified over the next day or so though so don’t worry.
Jamba Juice! Another first for Abu Dhabi! I’ve been hearing a lot about this place and their fabulous fruity juices so popped in to try one out…
I’m already a fan of a good juice and they didn’t disappoint. I went for the ‘Aloha Pineapple’ which was a blend of pineapple, strawberry and banana – yum! I didn’t realise until I tried to hand over the cash to pay for it, but all the juices were free on the first day of opening! Result!
Australians will know and probably already love the brand Pie Face from home for those savoury and sweet filled pies. I was totally looking forward to taking some pies home for Mr. Arabian Notes’ dinner, but sadly, the flaw with the electrics foiled my plan. Fear not, Pie Face, I shall be back soon!
My new friends at West Elm have also opened a store in the mall! Those of you who follow me on social media (and if you don’t, come find me – you don’t know what you’re missing!) will already know that they very kindly sent me a fabulous throw / cuddly sofa blanket earlier in the week. I mentioned that you could also get hold of yours by going to their store in Dubai, but you’ll be pleased to know that you only have to venture as far as Yas Island to pick one up now!
Whilst I was having a nose around West Elm to see what other lovely things they had, I spotted a silver leather pouch that I just couldn’t resist! I’ve wanted something like this for ages as a casual evening bag / pretty holdy thing to put misc bits and pieces in, but not found a very nice one until now. It’s good quality leather and I’m sure will get a lot of use as is just the right size!
There’s a Florence and Fred! Again, Brits will know this brand well for their clothing range that is sold in the UK in Tesco supermarket outlets! Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it peeps, there’s bargains galore to be found inside!
And they even gave me a yummy welcome cupcake! That was totally worth going in for alone! 🙂
Now, I personally don’t know the Cheesecake Factory, but chums in Dubai rant on about it and as you can see from the picture, it was pretty busy looking for a very first day open! Their reputation precedes them it seems! Not only do they have rather spectacular gooey cheesecakes in every flavour you can imagine, but I’m told they also do rather good salads and the like too.
So, we do already have Havaianas in the Abu Dhabi Mall, but it’s more of a kiosk than a full blown shop, so it’s exciting to finally see a decent sized shop for our favourite beach footwear needs in the city.
Those with a sweet tooth will be pleased to see Candylicious is coming soon to the mall…
And tea lovers will delight at this fancy TWG tea shop where you can indulge in the finest teas of the world…
Next is a first for the UAE! A lego shop!
…complete with life-size Lego camel!
A big River Island! Another UK high street fave. There is already one at Abu Dhabi Mall, but judging by the squeals of delight I noted some female passers by making this is a much larger, more exciting branch!
Victoria’s Secret is here too! Yes, I know we’ve already got at least a couple of those, though they only sell the perfume and cosmetics so far. You’ll be excited to know that this is a full blown proper one, with more types of ladies undies than you can shake a stick at.
There’s also a Victoria’s Secret Pink store, with every workout / sofa surfing / bedtime comfy clothing item you could ever possibly wish to possess.
There’s the largest Debenhams department store outside of the UK!
And Hamley’s famous toy store from London is coming soon too… Another first for Abu Dhabi.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I love a bit of Japanese brand Muji so this was an exciting spot! Priding themselves on natural, simple and functional items – there’s so much stuff you’ll find inside, and plenty that you didn’t know you needed before but that will revolutionise your life!
Home organisation anyone? Boxes, filing and so on? If you like to be neat and organised Muji is your dream!
And perfect for travel needs too, with heaps of travel bottles and mini packs of everything you could ever want. There’s something about this store that is just so inviting – I love browsing their rows of curious and useful knick knacks!
Of course the mall also has a massive Marks and Spencer… which even has a M&S cafe inside, along with a small food hall but take note that there is also a fresh bakery!
With all this browsing and exploring I got a bit carried away as I was leaving and walking past Molton Brown. The shop always just looks so perfect, and smells so nice, and all the pretty colours of the bottles just lure me in… So I know, I know, it’s a luxury I could have lived without but I just couldn’t leave empty handed! I bought some fancy hand soap and moisturiser, but shhhh, we don’t need to tell Mr. Arabian Notes! 😉
So those are my most notable picks from the mall, though of course there’s so, so much more. It pretty much has everything else you’d expect, all your usual brands alongside some less usual exciting additions – Scotch & Soda, The Kooples, Mothercare (it’s a big ‘un!), Centrepoint, TopShop, Reiss, Pottery Barn, Karen Millen, Ted Baker, New Look, Nike, Adidas, Go Sports, Home Centre and so on… There’s way too many to list. There’s even a new The One and of course a gargantuan Geant Hypermarket (another first for Abu Dhabi!).
There’s also food options galore, and so many exciting new additions to the city: Giraffe, Le Pain Quotidien, Rogo’s – the one that serves your food via roller coaster (!), The Coffee Club and Bagel Bar Coffee House all alongside all the usual favourites.
For me, the things that were notably missing were Gap, Banana Republic, Holland and Barrett and The White Company – but there are still plenty of stores yet to open so we shall see what the future brings…
And I’ll leave it on this note… The kiosk pictured below can be found selling all your I Heart Abu Dhabi goods in the mall, and for me, it pretty much sums it all up! 🙂 Yas Mall, we welcome you into our lives!
For more info, you’ll have to get down to the mall yourself, or checkout their website: yasmall.ae