MAF plans six new hotels

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) will expand its portfolio of world-class hotels with six new developments in the UAE under a strategic plan that will see the company increase its total investment in the UAE by Dh30 billion ($8.16 billion).

These hotels will open between 2019 and 2021, confirmed senior officials at Majid Al Futtaim, which is currently the largest hotel owner in Dubai with just over 2,900 rooms. The number of keys in the UAE will increase to 4,800 for MAF, as the new hotels come up in the country on different sites including Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, and MAF’s planned mixed-use community in Dubai. Four of these hotels will most likely be operated by existing partners AccorHotels, Starwood, Hilton and Kempinski under their different brands, with two new operator partners being announced shortly.

The new plan will see the company’s presence in the UAE reach two master-planned communities, 19 shopping malls, 16 hotels, 101 Carrefour hypermarkets and supermarkets, 28 cinemas, 38 leisure and entertainment outlets, 86 fashion stores and 26 healthcare clinics upon completion.

As part of its new investment plan for the UAE, Majid Al Futtaim will develop 10 new state-of-the-art shopping malls under its City Centre brand. This will include a new landmark regional mall in Dubai, as part of a 740,000 sq m mixed-use residential, retail, hospitality, commercial and leisure community.

It will also include the company’s first super-regional mall in Sharjah, which will be adjacent to its existing Al Zahia master-planned community.

In addition, Majid Al Futtaim will take its integrated retail-tainment model to Abu Dhabi for the first time, starting with the development of a community mall in Masdar City. The company’s new malls will further strengthen its position as the gateway of choice for some of the world’s most renowned brands to enter or expand in the UAE, it said.

In line with its strategy to keep assets fresh, relevant and best in class, Majid Al Futtaim will also undertake six expansions to its existing malls, including major extensions to City Centre Ajman and City Centre Me’aisem, which will turn them into regional malls.

Combining all new developments and expansions, the company will increase the total retail space in its mall network in the UAE from 725,000 sq m to 1,500,000 sq m.

The new investment plan will also see Majid Al Futtaim introduce new pioneering cinema experiences, family entertainment centres, advanced healthcare clinics, sought after fashion brands and innovative food and beverage concepts across the UAE.

In addition, the company will expand its consumer finance business and introduce 10 new Carrefour hypermarkets and 30 new Carrefour supermarkets, bringing the convenience of high quality produce, wide variety and low prices to more people across the emirates.

Alain Bejjani, chief executive officer at Majid Al Futtaim – Holding, said: ‘For more than two decades, driven by our vision to create great moments for everyone, every day, we have continually transformed the face of shopping, entertainment and leisure both here in the UAE and across the Mena region. In doing so, we have contributed to Dubai and the UAE becoming among the top global tourist and retail destinations, enhanced the lifestyle of their residents and delivered nearly 200,000 jobs.

‘With today’s investment plan, which is closely aligned to the government’s vision for the future, we will take our impact to the next level. Not only will we create hundreds of thousands of additional jobs, we will support Dubai and the UAE in becoming the world’s best retail-tainment destinations and deliver more life-changing experiences through seamless online and offline offerings,’ he said.

This plan was announced hot on the heels of the company announcing plans to increase its total investment in the Sultanate to OR705 million ($1,832 million) by 2020, which includes the development of City Centre Sohar, a new regional mall. ttn