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REGIONAL EXPANSION

Dubai retailer MAF plans $5bn investment by 2018

Dubai, December 17, 2013

Dubai retail group Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) aims to invest $1 billion a year for the next five years in the Middle East to double the size of its business, said its chief executive.

MAF, the sole franchisee of Carrefour hypermarkets in the region, has benefited from a trade and tourism boom in Dubai and is now expanding into other markets including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt and Lebanon.

"Over next few years we are very likely to be investing (a) billion dollars a year. However, this very much depends on finding the right land in the right location and for the right price," MAF chief executive Iyad Malas said at a press conference to announce a new branding strategy for the firm.

About 70 per cent of the company's assets are currently in the UAE but most of the investments over the next few years would be in other countries, Malas said.

MAF reported annual revenue of $6 billion in 2012, 10 per cent higher than the previous year.

The mall developer, famous for building an indoor ski slope in Dubai, bought out Carrefour's 25 per cent stake in a joint venture for $683 million in May.

The unlisted firm was in talks to buy Egypt's largest supermarket chain Metro from family-owned Mansour Group but the discussions collapsed last month.

"We will continue to invest in Egypt and we are quite positive about developments in Egypt. There maybe political hiccups here and there but we are clearly investing," said Malas.

MAF has invested heavily into Egypt and has started construction on a $600-million Mall of Egypt in Cairo that is expected to open by early 2016.

Malas expects the company's annual revenue to grow by 9 to 10 per cent this year.-Reuters




Tags: Dubai | investment | Carrefour | Majid Al Futtaim |

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