Majid Al Futtaim to expand in Egypt and Saudi
Majid Al Futtaim will invest $996.26 million in Egypt over the next two to three years, mainly for a single mall in Cairo, its CEO said on Wednesday.
Majid Al Futtaim also plans to expand in Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Uganda, chief executive Alain Bejjani said in an interview.
The company will spend $533.6 million building cinemas in Saudi Arabia as part of a five-year investment plan, he said.
Majid Al Futtaim, which has already built 100 cinema screens in Saudi Arabia, will bring the total to 600 screens at the end of the five-year plan, which began a year and a half ago. The conservative kingdom lifted a nearly 40-year ban on commercial cinemas in 2017 as part of broad social and economic reforms.
"We will open seven Carrefour locations in Uzbekistan in 2020 and on December 16 we will open a Carrefour in Uganda," Bejjani said, adding they will also enter other markets.
Majid Al Futtaim has the franchise rights for French retailer Carrefour in 37 markets in the Middle East, Africa and central Asia and operates more than 280 stores. The Carrefour in Uganda will be its first investment there.
The company, which builds and operates retail, hospitality and integrated city projects, has invested heavily in Egypt since the end of 2015, he said. Bejjani will officially open the City Centre Almaza mall in an eastern district of Cairo.
In the UAE, where the company says 88 per cent of grocery customers shop at Carrefour, Bejjani said there were positive signs on consumer confidence in the retail market after a difficult two years.
"2020 will be important for the UAE market (especially) with Expo and the improvement that is happening in Saudi Arabia ... (all that) will have a positive impact on the UAE," he said.
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