Majid Al Futtaim plans 2 Saudi malls for $3.7 billion
Kingdom's largest shopping mall to be in Riyadh
Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) on Monday said it will invest SR14 billion ($3.7 billion) in Saudi Arabia to develop two new shopping malls in Riyadh.
The shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) said new developments will create more than 10,000 direct and indirect job opportunities in the Saudi capital.
The Dubai-based group said The Mall of Saudi in Riyadh will be the nation's largest shopping and entertainment complex covering 866,000 square metres with its own indoor ski slope. It will also include 300,000 sqm of shops, restaurants and entertainment areas, prime residential units, offices and showroom space, luxury hotels, serviced apartment buildings and other public amenities.
The first phase of development at Mall of Saudi, which is set to commence by mid-2017 and be completed by 2022, will see the opening of the mall, ski slope, one hotel and serviced apartment building and general infrastructure.
Future phases will include the development of the residential, office, medical centre and hotel plots. Once completed, the development will provide a landscaped and green environment for both local residents and tourists to live, work and play.
"For over two decades, we have been shaping the retail landscape in the region and beyond by introducing its first integrated retail, leisure and entertainment experience, driven by the vision of our founder to create great moments for everyone, every day," Alain Bejjani, chief executive officer, Majid Al Futtaim - Holding, said.
First City Centre
In the east of the Saudi capital, Majid Al Futtaim plans to expand the region's largest mall network by building City Centre Ishbiliyah. The mall will be Saudi Arabia's first City Centre mall, which is an international award-winning brand with 13 malls located across the Mena region.
It will cover over 100,000sqm of gross leasable area and will feature 250 stores, a 9,000sqm Carrefour hypermarket, a food court and an entertainment complex inclusive of Magic Planet. The company has acquired the building permit and plans to begin construction this year.
The two new developments will bring the total number of Majid Al Futtaim owned and operated malls to more than 20 across the Mena region. The mall concepts are expected to be funded in line with the company's prudent financial management and consistent with its BBB credit rating levels.
"We are confident that these Majid Al Futtaim destinations will delight our customers, drive economic growth and benefit local communities for many years to come," Bejjani said.
Majid Al Futtaim has had a significant presence in Saudi Arabia for more than 11 years through Carrefour, operating 12 hypermarkets and four supermarkets with more than 2,500 employees. The company also operates Enova in Saudi Arabia, a facility management company, through a joint venture operation with Veolia and owns a fashion retail business representing international brands such as Jane Norman, Juicy Couture and Peacocks.
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