MAF group targets regional expansion

20 November 2003
Dubai-based Majid al-Futtaim (MAF) Group is pressing ahead with the construction of three new hypermarkets and the expansion of an existing facility, as part of its regional expansion plan.

The most advanced project is a 100,000-square-metre facility, which is planned for construction at a site opposite the Sief Mall in Bahrain. The UK's RTKL is carrying out a feasibility study, which is due to be completed by mid-2004.

Two other malls, each of 25,000 square metres, are planned in Beirut and Heliopolis, Cairo. Spain's Salamanca is carrying out initial studies for both shopping malls. At a later stage, the group also plans to expand the proposed hypermarket at Beirut to 40,000 square metres.

The proposed facility at Heliopolis will be the third to be built in Egypt by the MAF Group. It already operates two similar facilities in Cairo and Alexandria. Plans are also being drawn up for a second-phase expansion of MAF's existing mall in Muscat. Elsewhere in the region, the group is looking at the possibility of opening up hypermarkets in Syria and Iran.

MAF has three existing shopping malls in the UAE. Construction is already under way for a fourth shopping mall in the federation. The Mall of the Emirates calls for the construction of a two-level shopping mall, a winter resort and a 400-room five-star hotel. The planned facilities will be built over 6.5 million square feet and are due to be completed by September 2005. The UK's Mace is the project manager (see Special Report, pages 38-40).

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