The $250m design-and-build contract calls for the construction of a 140,000 square-metre three-level shopping centre that will be home to a mix of 250 international and regional retail brands, including Al-Futtaim brands such as Toys R Us, InterSport, a hypermarket, multiplex cinema and food and beverage outlets.

The Al-Futtaim Carillion Orascom joint venture has also been selected for a package of 170 villas at CFC.

The next major contract to be awarded will be for the construction of 11 10-storey residential towers. The buildings are in the detailed design stage.

Al-Futtaim is now ready to move ahead with plans for new Festival Cities around the region following the closure of a $500m real estate development fund by Al-Futtaim Capital, the investment arm of Al-Futtaim Group.

“The purpose of the fund is to replicate and adapt the formula for Dubai Festival City around the region, with a focus on Abu Dhabi, Doha, Casablanca and Cairo,” says Marwan Shehadeh, managing director of Al-Futtaim Capital. “We have a four-year investment period, so we can afford to pick and choose.”

Other locations, such as Saudi Arabia and Libya, are also under consideration, but plans are at a much less advanced stage.