In Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island is the focus of an ambitious development program. Ludivine Labussière (H.09) from C2i is dedicated to developing high-end retail and experiences there.

C2i is a subsidiary created by Aldar. What is its role?
Ludivine Labussière: Its role is to forge strategic partnerships with brands, concepts, and experiences that will bring to life the spaces imagined and developed by Aldar. My work revolves around three main areas: strategic intelligence, which studies the dynamics of the luxury and retail industry; business development, which negotiates these partnerships; and lastly, supporting partners through personalized strategic and operational consulting. Our flagship project today is located on Saadiyat Island. Beyond creating spaces, it’s about bringing a new neighborhood in the capital to life, by attracting a unique offer of retail, services, and experiences highlighting excellence, refinement, culture, arts, the art of living and gastronomy.

What type of brands are you looking to attract?
L.L.: Our goal is to attract innovative concepts and expert brands to offer exceptional experiences. Initially, we are focusing on gastronomy and culinary arts. The government has created a fund to attract high-end dining and iconic chefs, turning Abu Dhabi into a global capital of gastronomy. The Le Cordon Bleu school and the Bocuse Group will open their doors in 2025, and we are currently in talks with renowned international chefs. We are also exploring partnerships with fashion, wellness, and lifestyle brands that will complement Saadiyat Grove’s high-end offering.

What advantages do brands have by establishing themselves in Saadiyat?
L.L.: First of all, the setting: Saadiyat Grove will host five iconic museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabiand Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and more than 48,500 square meters of living spaces. Another advantage is the determination and vision of the government. The capital has engaged in an intercultural dialogue with the international community. Further more, incentive measures support the development of excellence in retail. We are thus collaborating with governmental entities, project by project…

What role does France play in Saadiyat?
L.L.: In terms of refinement, culture and lifestyle, France remains a benchmark.. My HEC degree likely contributed to my recruitment. The HEC network remains a valuable asset. As an anecdote, André Cointreau, president of Le Cordon Bleu school, is also an HEC graduate, which facilitated our discussions and collaboration.


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