Majid Al Futtaim announces $817m Dubai investment
Dubai, June 29, 2013
UAE retail firm Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Holding has unveiled a major plan to invest Dh3 billion ($817 million) on enhancing its Dubai businesses over the next five years in key projects including a 50-store community mall, luxury hotels and new Carrefour hypermarkets.
The move come in line with its initiative to support the “Dubai 2020” tourism vision, endorsed by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said a statement from Majid Al Futtaim.
The plans include: two new hotels developments; upgrading of two existing hotels; enhancements to its flagship Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre shopping malls; opening four new Carrefour supermarkets and two new hypermarkets; as well as building a new 14-screen cinema complex.
The company is also evaluating options for the development of a new 50-store Community Mall in a prime residential area of Dubai, it stated.
Majid Al Futtaim’s major investment programme reflects the return to growth of the Dubai market and of the UAE economy which is expected to achieve 3.6 per cent GDP growth in 2013 (IMF forecast), said the Dubai retailer in its statement.
It also highlights the company's significant contribution to Dubai's tourism sector, which is moving steadily towards achieving its target of 20 million visitors by 2020, as set by the “Dubai 2020” vision aiming to raise Dubai’s profile as a leading tourism destination, the statement added.
Commenting on the move, CEO Iyad Malas said, "All the economic indicators and our own experience are telling us that the Dubai market is entering a new phase of dynamic growth and development. We are investing now to ensure that our facilities are enhanced and expanded in order to meet the future demand of our customers."
"We are experiencing 11 per cent growth in the number of people visiting our Dubai malls in 2013. Average occupancy rates in our hotels achieved 81 per cent in Q1 2013. There is an increasing number of major retailers wanting to open in our malls and we are witnessing a growing demand across all our businesses," he added.
According to him, the Mall of The Emirates will undergo an Dh930 million extension, the first phase of which will be a new Dh100 million fashion district dedicated to contemporary apparel.
"More than 30 new fashion stores will define this new retail precinct, unveiling a refreshed collection of debut brands that will complement the mall’s existing fashion offer," he revealed.
"Mall of The Emirates’ new fashion district will result in the transformation of a key precinct in the mall’s East wing, on the first floor in a more than 50,000 sq ft zone, said Malas.
The project, to be completed by the end of 2013, involves a comprehensive re-merchandising strategy that includes integrating existing and new contemporary fashion brands," he added.
The Kempinski Mall of The Emirates, he said, too is undergoing a major hotel upgrade programme for its 393 rooms, meeting facilities and restaurants. The programme is due for completion in 2015.
Malas said there were also plans to develop a new ultra-luxury branded hotel within Mall of The Emirates precinct. "The exclusive new hotel will have 200 rooms, multiple restaurants, as well as sports and leisure facilities," stated the Group CEO.
"Majid Al Futtaim has also developed plans to build a Luxury Branded Hotel in Deira City Centre which will include 272 rooms," he noted.
"The Pullman Deira City Centre hotel is undergoing a rebranding and refurbishment programme that will complete later this year. The 133 luxury serviced residential apartments at Pullman Deira City Centre will also undergo a refurbishment programme," he added.
According to Malas, Deira City Centre is currently undergoing a significant reinvestment and repositioning programme, which will result in the introduction of new dining options, a new healthcare clinic, improved accessibility via an improved metro link and enhancements to the Centre Court area.
"The investment programme for MAF Properties’ Dubai portfolio complements planned upgrades and growth of the assets managed by Majid Al Futaim Ventures and Majid Al Futtaim Retail," remarked the group chief.
On the retail front, Malas said the MAF Retail has committed Dh96 million to expanding its 100 per cent-owned Carrefour franchise with the addition of two new hypermarkets and four new supermarkets.
"Majid Al Futtaim Ventures, which opened a new 7-screen cinema earlier this year, plans to invest a further Dh307 million to enhance existing properties, as well as building a new 14-screen cinema complex in one of Dubai’s shopping malls," he added.-TradeArabia News Service