UAE-based mall operator, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, announced that construction on its $800 million Mall of Egypt is expected to begin by the end of this year.
The mall, located in Sixth of October City outside Cairo, will be spread across 399,400 square metres and will host approximately 380 shops, MAF Properties said in a statement.
Similar to the company’s landmark project in Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, the Mall of Egypt will also have an indoor Ski Park and a Carrefour hypermarket. A 17-screen cinema complex and an amusement park will also form part of the mall’s attractions.
Construction on the project will begin after the final building permit is secured, which is expected by year-end, said the statement. The company hopes to complete the project by June 2015.
The project is expected to employ 9,000 people during the construction phase and 7,000 once the mall has opened.
Peter Walichnowski, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Properties, commented: “Egypt’s strong economic fundamentals, such as its young and growing population, make it an attractive growth market. We are committed to building on our success in Egypt and investing in the country’s long-term economic growth.”
MAF has awarded a $400 million construction contract for the mall to a 50/50 joint venture between Orascom Construction (OC) and the BESIX Group.
“This is the largest foreign investment in Egypt since the election of the new government,” said Nassef Sawiris, OC chairman and CEO.
“We have been very impressed by the efficient manner in which the new leadership reviewed required regulatory approvals for this project and we look forward to continuing to work together.
“The Mall of Egypt development marks an important milestone in Egypt’s economic recovery and signals a resurgence of private foreign investment in the country,” he added.
Majid Al Futtaim Properties’ direct investments in Egypt amounts to $410 million to date. It opened its first mall in Egypt, Maadi City Centre, in 2002 and went on to open the Alexandria City Centre in 2003.
MAF Properties, which operates 11 malls and has two under development across the Middle East, announced revenues of Dhs1.5 billion in the first half of the year, a 16 per cent increase compared to H1 2011.