DIAB core materials used in Abu Dhabi shopping mall

The entrance of Abu Dhabi's premier shopping mall.
The entrance of Abu Dhabi's premier shopping mall.

Man-made Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE, will soon be home to the Yas Mall. Estimated to open in November 2014, the mall will offer over 450 stores, four international departments, multi-cuisine dining and a direct link to IKEA and the world’s largest indoor theme park – the Ferrari World. Hovering over the main entrance to the mall is a huge, yet almost feather-light canopy designed and manufactured by Affan Innovative Structures LCC with the use of DIAB’s sandwich core material.

Yas Island is situated around 10 minutes from the Abu Dhabi International Airport and 20 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi, making it an attractive and accessible destination for both residents and tourists. In addition to excessive shopping possibilities, the mall will also feature a 7,500m2, 14-screen cinema unit, a 6,000m2 family entertainment centrer and more than 10,000 parking spaces.

Yas Mall is being developed by Aldar Properties, the leading property development and management company in Abu Dhabi and will open in November 2014. Aldar’s management hopes the new mall with all its attractions will help draw people to Abu Dhabi and contribute to making it one of the most popular shopping destinations in the Middle East.

The mall is being constructed over four trading floors and will have a huge central square as its focal point, with streets leading from the square directly to its four car parks, and to the department stores. Sheltering the main entrance is an enormous canopy made of composite material. It measures 240m in length and 12m in width and has been designed and manufactured by Affan, a Dubai-based company specialising in façades made of complex steel, glass and composite structures.

DIAB says that the canopy is a good example of how composite solutions can accommodate the innovative designs of the future. Extremely lightweight, yet strong, it makes a great first impression and sets high expectations.

Affan has been using DIAB structural foams for several years on various projects. On Yas Mall, the panels were produced with Divinycell P and put in place in mid 2014. Affan’s founder, Dr. Amer Affan, emphasises that composite constructions offer architects the unique opportunity to realise previously unimaginable structures. The canopy roof over Yas Mall is part of Affan’s strategy to introduce composites into the world of construction. Affan has previously worked with DIAB materials to create a roof over the entrance to the Sidra Medical and Research Center.