MAF Properties to spend $3.5bn on 4 malls
Dubai, May 2, 2010
UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Properties said it will spend $3.5 billion in the next five years on four new shopping malls in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, in a bid to tap rising demand.
The group, well-known for building a mall with an indoor ski slope in Dubai, already operates 10 malls across the Middle East and North Africa.
"Studies show that economic growth in terms of GDP and the overall quality of life for emerging economies are linked to consumer spending and retail sales levels," said MAF Properties chief executive Peter Walichnowski in a statement on Sunday.
Most Gulf economies are expected to grow in low single digits in 2010, with the exception of Qatar, with its GDP forecast to grow 16 percent, a recent Reuters poll showed.
MAF Properties, whose parent company's retail arm has the licence to operate French retailer Carrefour's franchise in the Middle East, recently said it eyed an $817 million shopping mall and office project in Syria.
Named after its owner, a UAE billionaire businessman, Majid Al Futtaim has embarked on an ambitious expansion plan, hoping to double its portfolio by 2015 with 14 new projects in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar, the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Oman. - Reuters