Mall of Saudi plans put on hold

01 May 2023
Dubai-based Majid al-Futtaim selected a contracting joint venture to work on the project last year


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Dubai-based developer Majid al-Futtaim (MAF) has put plans for its estimated SR6bn ($1.6bn) Mall of Saudi project in Riyadh on hold.

The project had been moving towards construction. MAF selected a joint venture (JV) of the local El-Seif Engineering Contracting Company and Dubai-based Alec for pre-construction work on the project in mid-2022.

The plan was to then appoint the JV as the main contractor for the project.

The decision to put the Mall of Saudi project on hold comes at a time of change for MAF following the death of its founder Majid al-Futtaim in December 2021. Further change came in January this year when Ahmed Galal Ismail replaced CEO Alain Bejjani.

The Mall of Saudi project was expected to be one of the largest in the region, with over 600 stores with a gross leasable area of 300,000 square metres. The mall was originally planned to include the largest ski slope and snow park in the Middle East, but these plans were later changed as MAF considered alternative entertainment offerings.

The planned retail centre is the key component of the estimated $4.3bn Riyadh North masterplanned development, which includes nine hotels and branded residences with 2,000 keys.

The decision to remove the snow park from the mall last year indicated that MAF was aware of competing retail centres under construction in the Saudi capital.

In November 2022, Saudi Entertainment Ventures (Seven) awarded Lebanon’s Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) an estimated $650m contract to build the Exit 15 entertainment complex, which includes entertainment, retail, an indoor water park, a snow park and a ski slope.

A year earlier, in November 2021, Shomoul Holding Company appointed Nesma & Partners to deliver The Avenues – Riyadh. That $1.7bn project includes 1,300 retail units and five towers with hotel, residential and office space.

MAF declined to comment on the Mall of Saudi being put on hold.

COMMENT: Stalled mall highlights Saudi market weakness

MEED's latest special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

> GIGAPROJECTS: Saudi Arabia under project pressure
> ECONOMY: Riyadh steps up the Vision 2030 tempo
> CONSTRUCTION: Saudi construction project ramp-up accelerates
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