UAE company to build 10 new malls, create over 170,000 jobs
Majid Al Futtaim to invest Dh30 billion in UAE, deliver majority of projects between 2019 and 2021
By Parag Deulgaonkar Emirates 24/7
Published Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Driven by the expected population and tourism growth in the UAE, Majid Al Futtaim, one of largest conglomerates in the country, has earmarked a Dh30 billion investment in the local retail, residential and hospitality market over a ten-year period.
As part of its new investment plan, which takes its total investment in the UAE to a whopping Dh48 billion, the company will develop 10 shopping malls under its ‘City Centre’ brand, which will include a regional mall in Dubai, which will be part of a 740,000 square metre mixed-use community.
The investment also includes a super-regional mall in Sharjah, adjacent to its existing Al Zahia community development and its first foray into Abu Dhabi through a community mall in Masdar City. Six existing malls will be expanded, including City Centre Ajman and City Centre Me’aisem which will become regional malls.
The entire new development and expansion plan will double its retail space from 725,000 square metres to 1.5 million square metres in the UAE.
Last month, CBRE’s 2016 edition of the ‘How Global is the Business of Retail?’ report said Dubai had retained its position as the second most important international shopping destination globally for the fifth consecutive year.
Dubai had a presence of 57 per cent of international retailers with the emirate attracting 38 new international brands such as All Saints and Old Navy, it added.
The company will build six new hotels, which will come up in Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, and its new mixed-use community near Global Village – Dubailand, thus taking the number of room keys operated to 4,800.
“The new strategy will create over 170,000 direct and indirect job opportunities,” said Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim – Holding, adding the company has delivered nearly 200,000 jobs in the last two decades.
He revealed the company had acquired lands for these projects and were “positive and confident” on their strategy.
“The first one was last year in Egypt followed by Saudi Arabia, Oman and now we are doing the big announcement for the UAE. Our approach in the past was to announce projects, but now we are announcing investment strategies. We are taking advantages of the opportunities within our periphery.”
Asked his views on growing competition in the retail segment, Bejjani said: “We don’t invest for ourselves, we invest for customers. There are very clear growth trends in the market that we want to take advantage from. Yes, there is competition… competition is good; it keeps us on our toes and even pushes us to do better. So we love competition.”
Majid Al Futtaim will be delivering majority of these new projects between 2019 and 2021.
The company owns and operates 19 shopping malls, 12 hotels and three mixed-use communities, with further developments underway in the region. The shopping malls portfolio includes Mall of the Emirates, City Centre malls, and four community malls which are in joint venture with the Government of Sharjah.