MAF plots regional expansion

Majid Al Futtaim Investments, owner of Dubai City Centre, is planning to develop new mega malls in Lebanon, Bahrain and Egypt.

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By  David Ingham Published  April 18, 2004

MAJID AL FUTTAIM INVESTMENTS is extending its burgeoning retail empire to new corners of the Middle East. The company has revealed plans to build brand new large scale shopping centres in Beirut, Bahrain and Egypt and to expand existing ones in the UAE and Muscat. “Retail represents more than 80% of the group’s revenues, so over the next five years it will continue to be the main driver of our business,” said Peter Walichnowski, chief executive officer, Majid Al Futtaim Investments. “In addition to these markets, we are closely monitoring regional development with a view to announcing other ventures in new markets, including Iran and Syria.” The company’s drive into the retail segment began in 1995 with the opening of City Centre in Dubai. Since then, the development has been expanded considerably and new centres have opened in Sharjah, Ajman, Muscat and Egypt. Work is also underway in Dubai on Mall of the Emirates, which has a budget of around Dhs3 billion. “The unrivalled success of Deira City Centre over the last decade has shown the retail industry that MAF Investments leads the way in terms of mall management,” added Walichnowski. “The key to success is not the ability to build a mall but rather in the ability to manage the mix of tenants coupled with a strong marketing function and international management experience."

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