Dubai’s MAF Plans Dhs3bn Expansion To Malls, Hotels

Majid Al Futtaim plans to launch two new hotels and upgrade Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre and build a new cinema complex.



UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim Holding (MAF) announced that it plans to invest Dhs3 billion on expanding its Dubai businesses over the next five years.

The company aims to create two new hotels developments, upgrade two existing hotels, expand its Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre shopping malls, open four new Carrefour supermarkets and two new hypermarkets and build a new 14-screen cinema complex.

MAF is also evaluating options for the development of a new 50-store community mall in a “prime residential area” of Dubai, it said in a statement.

Iyad Malas, MAF CEO said: “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.

“We are investing now to ensure that our facilities are enhanced and expanded in order to meet the future demand of our customers,” he stated.

Mall of The Emirates (MOE) will undergo an Dhs930 million extension, the first phase of which will be a new Dhs100 million, 50,000 square ft fashion district, which will include over 30 new fashion stores.

The project, to be completed by the end of 2013, involves a re-merchandising strategy that includes integrating existing and new contemporary fashion brands, said the statement.

The company is also undertaking a “reinvestment and repositioning programme” in Deira City Centre, as part of which the mall will have new dining options, a new healthcare clinic, improved accessibility via a metro link and enhancements to the Centre Court area.

In terms of new hotels, MAF is planning to develop a new ultra-luxury branded hotel within the MOE precinct, which will have 200 rooms, multiple restaurants, and sports and leisure facilities.

It is also planning to build a luxury branded hotel in Deira City Centre which will include 272 rooms.

Meanwhile, the Pullman Deira City Centre hotel is undergoing a rebranding and refurbishment programme that will be completed later this year.

All the 393 rooms, meeting facilities and restaurants in the Kempinski hotel in MOE will also be upgraded, with the programme slated for completion in 2015.

MAF’s retail unit has announced a Dhs96 million expansion to its Carrefour franchise with the addition of two new hypermarkets and four new supermarkets.

The statement also added that Majid Al Futtaim Ventures, which opened a new seven-screen cinema earlier this year, plans to invest a further Dhs307 million to enhance existing properties and build a new 14-screen cinema complex in one of Dubai’s shopping malls.

MAF is one of the UAE’s fastest growing conglomerates. The company recently bought Carrefour’s 25 per cent minority stake in MAF Hypermarkets for €530 million, and is in talks to acquire a supermarket chain in Egypt.

Established in 1992, it operates 12 shopping malls and 11 hotels in the region, and over 90 Carrefour stores across the MENA and Central Asia.