Much more than a mall - The Galleria, Abu Dhabi

As I walk into The Galleria, I find it hard to place it into a category. It is more than a mall and not quite a department store as they are known in The US or Japan, for example. I decide on calling it a Shopping Complex, although I will probably get an email from the owners! Be that as it may, The Galleria is something residents of Abu Dhabi have been calling for - an upmarket complex that carries super exclusive stores, dining options a step up from the usual ones found in malls and all the time catering for families. That place has arrived.
A sense of openness and space.
Natural light. 
It is located on Al Maryah island as part of the Sowwah development and connected to Rosewood Hotel. Access is so easy from the city and it took me about 25 minutes from Mohammed Bin Zayed City. 

The Galleria is viewed as  a lifestyle destination by marketers. It has store after store that reflect the clientele it is attracting. In the short time I was there, I came across Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Carolina Hererra, Faconnable, Moschino, Molton Brown and many others. For a list of stores, you can visit this link:

I like the comfortable sofa style seating throughout The Galleria. 
As I walked through The Galleria, I enjoyed the open space. People that I have met have often remarked how empty it is. They don't see what it could be, but only what it is. Already Rosewood Hotel has made a huge impression after only one year, other office towers, the world class Cleveland Clinic and The Four Seasons Hotel will all be opening in the near future. I also understand that a cinema will open in the not too distant future. 

View from the terrace
For me, bathroom facilities say a lot about a mall/lifestyle destination/complex, and I deliberately went to the baby 'changing' room. I was pleased with a decent space for babies to be changed and even seating. Nice. Another unrelated aspect I was pleased with was the the friendliness of the cleaning staff. (well, based on 5 I interacted with). The Galleria seems to have made a point in employing staff who seem to have a better concept of the importance of the customer experience. Well done. 

Child-friendly bathrooms
Changing facilities for babies. 
This is the highlight for me with fine dining and higher end food court options. Thanks to Rosewood Hotel, The Galleria gives visitors access to some of the finest restaurants in the city - I have had the pleasure of visiting their restaurants and in Catalan  and Spice Mela in particular, you have two exceptional restaurants. 

Cod at Spice Mela
However, there are some other fine options in Zuma and Bentley's, both licenced. If it s something even more casual, there are options, including Taqado's,  that I visited at this time. ( ). I also saw Leopold's of London. Nice. 

Overall, I am very excited about The Galleria. I saw enough in the three hours on this visit  believe that it will be a good experience for shoppers and diners. The best part is that it is still growing.

The essentials

The Galleria
Sowwah Square,
Al Maryah Island
Abu Dhabi
+971 2 6166 999