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Designed by WS Atkins, Centaurus Mall is Islamabad’s latest attraction (Photos: Khurram Amin, Muhammad Arsalan Khan and courtesy Centaurus Mall)

Designed by WS Atkins, Centaurus Mall is Islamabad’s latest attraction (Photos: Khurram Amin, Muhammad Arsalan Khan and courtesy Centaurus Mall)

Until the establishment of Centaurus Mall in February, Islamabad was perhaps one of the only metropolitan cities in Pakistan that could not boast of a full-fledged mall. Now all is set to change.

A multi million dollar investment… Centaurus Mall is part of The Centaurus, a real estate project that is partially under construction. The master plan of the project includes the Centaurus Mall as well as four towers, one of which will serve as a five-star hotel, two as residential apartment buildings and one that will house offices. So far, three out of the four towers have been completed. The Mall is located in a five-story building, the length of which extends through all four towers in the form of a wave, reminiscent of Zaha Hadid’s design for the London Aquatics Centre. The Centaurus has been designed by British firm WS Atkins; the cost of the project is estimated at $350 million.

IMG_1017-smallNon-stop shopping… Centaurus Mall consists of approximately 250 retail outlets. So far, nearly 75% have been booked and several stores have opened for business. These include high-end international brands such as The Body Shop, Charles and Keith and Swatch and well-known Pakistani brands such as Fiction,

From The Hot Spot (top) to international brands such as The Body Shop (bottom) (Photos: Khurram Amin, Muhammad Arsalan Khan and courtesy Centaurus Mall)

From The Hot Spot (top) to international brands such as The Body Shop (bottom) (Photos: Khurram Amin, Muhammad Arsalan Khan and courtesy Centaurus Mall)

Nishat Linen, Stylo and Walk Ease. Additionally, a branch of Al-Fatah (a department store) has opened there.

Food glorious food… The food court is perhaps the Mall’s premier attraction. There are a variety of foodie options to choose from including burgers at Hardee’s and McDonald’s, Chinese food at China Grill and desi food at the newly established franchise Chacha Jee. There are plenty of sweet treats too in the form of desserts and ice-cream at The Hot Spot (an Islamabad original) and the world famous cinnamon rolls at Cinnabon.

The Mall is five storeys high (Photos: Khurram Amin, Muhammad Arsalan Khan and courtesy Centaurus Mall)

The Mall is five storeys high (Photos: Khurram Amin, Muhammad Arsalan Khan and courtesy Centaurus Mall)

In a nutshell… Centaurus Mall marks a definitive shift in Islamabad’s consumer behaviour, as the shoppers move away from a Markaz to a mall culture. For the residents of the twin cities, Centaurus is a great addition, be it for shopping or entertainment, especially given the fact that a multiplex cinema is set to open there shortly.

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– Azbail Raja
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First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on May 12, 2013.

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