The Avenues (Kuwait)
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|Headquarters||Rai, Farwaniya Governorate, Kuwait City|
The Avenues Mall is the largest shopping mall in Kuwait and the second largest mall in the Middle East. The mall is located in the Rai area extending from Fifth Ring Road from the south and Al Ghazali Highway from the east. It opened in April 2007, under the patronage of the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah. It was the winner of the ICSC Gold Award for “Best Shopping Center 2013” under the Expansion and Design Category in the Middle East & North Africa. It features more than 800 stores and parking space that fits more than 10,000 cars. Its exteriors are surrounded by fountains.
Currently, the 4th phase of the mall is being constructed and is expected to be inaugurated by 1st quarter of 2018. The 4th phase includes expansions to existing districts as well as new districts, namely, The Arcades, The Grand Plaza, The Forum, The Gardens, Electra and The Cinema; as well as a five-star hotel and another four-star hotel, which will cover an area of 117,000 sq.m. There will be an increase in the number of stores from 800 to 1,100.
The shopping mall has four distinct phases: Phase I having been complete in December 2006, Phase IIA in May 2008, Phase IIB in August 2009, Phase III in November 2013 and Phase IV in March 2018. Across a span of twelve years, The Avenues has spent a total of 3,061,500,000 USD (3.06 billion United States Dollars) in building and constructing the shopping mall. The Avenues is home to a number of districts: 1st Avenue, 2nd Avenue, Grand Avenue, Prestige, The Mall, SOKU, The Souk, The Arcades, The Cinema, The Gardens, Electra and Grand Plaza. The latter five opening as a part of the new extension of Phase IV.
The mall is built under and managed by Mabanee Company K.P.S.C., who have created the architectural design for the largest shopping destination in Kuwait.
The Grand Avenue is designed to feel like an outdoor space. The boulevard is covered with a transparent roof structure reinforcing and enhancing the outdoor atmosphere. This district was a part of the expansion of Phase III, opening to the public with major designer brands: Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, etc. in the Pristige district. Alongside the new openings of restaurants including Shake Shack, Cheesecake Factory, IHOP, Olive Garden and more. The architectural design that helped the feeling of being outdoors are the constructions and decisions of the interior. The street is paved in stone along a path of trees on either side.
Grand Avenue also opened KidZania, a corporation that installs a child-sized model of a real city and gives children the opportunity to act as adults. The franchise opened in Kuwait in June 2013.
The Grand Plaza the pinnacle of The Avenues development. This is a 640m promenade down Grand Avenue. Located at the end of Grand Avenue, Grand Plaza takes inspiration from civic squares around the world, creating a new meeting place and events space for The Avenues. There is a variety of trees lined on either side of the promenade, with available seating and gathering spaces for shows, markets and performances. The Grand Plaza was a part of the latest installment of Phase IV.
The most recent completion The Avenues held was the construction of Phase IV. The inclusion of numerous new districts, "the mall is expected to employ 30,000 people, some of which will work on the facility's 300 new stores".
A four star and five star hotel are currently in construction, with TradeArabia, an Arabian business news information stating, "Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton’s smart luxury hotel brand, and mid-scale Hilton Garden Inn open their doors to guests in early 2019 at the mall". Mohammad Alshaya, chairman of Mabanee, said: “In planning the fourth phase of the expansion of this immense project, one of the most exciting additions, we are providing the ability for visitors to stay inside Avenues itself".
The Avenues was primarily created under the influence of the climate and region Kuwait is located in. Basing the architecture on the natural forms of the desert sand dune, rock formation and the sky, the neutral colors of the interior, and the open window ceilings brings The Avenues Concept together. Among each respective district there is a particular influence behind it.
The influence behind the Grand Avenue was to make the mall feel like it's a grand shopping boulevard, gathering European and American influence to construct the district, for example the Champs-Élysées in Paris, France, or Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, California.
The influence from Hong Kong's Kowloon, the district is heavily influenced by the bright lights and overall technology found in Asia. This is where digital retail is found. The concept was to make the shoppers feel as if they were walking down Times Square in New York City, or Tokyo's Ginza district. There will always be something fresh on display in this district, making every visit special and unique.
The Souk (Marketplace)
Heavily influenced by the country the mall is located, this district mirrors the traditional marketplace the Kuwaitis of the past used. This district is an interpretation of this region's traditional retail architecture, including narrow streets and a color scheme to match that of the desert. Involving traditional cafes and classic Arabic cuisines, this area encompasses the former Kuwait.
The completely white modern space is influenced by the major cities in the world: Los Angeles, Milan, London. Offering shoppers a contemporary metropolitan shopping experience.
SoKu (an acronym for South of Kuwait) finds inspiration from New York's bohemian SoHo district, and is reminiscent of “edgy” city architecture, as well as numerous cafes and bistros, all designed to capture the attention of Kuwait's younger, trendier consumers.
Restaurants and Stores
There are many international and national-based restaurants and stores found in the avenues. Since Kuwait is heavily influenced by the British lifestyle, there are shops that has branched from England, to Kuwait. Shops such as Charlotte Tilbury, Jack Wills, and Marks and Spencer. Along with British brands, many American brand names can also be found in the mall: Forever 21, Pottery Barn, Tiffany & Co. and Toys R Us.
The Avenues also hosts French, Dutch, Turkish, Swiss and Arabic restaurants and stores, making The Avenues the most internationally diverse widespread area in Kuwait.
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