Mall project jobs boom

Firm says 170,000 posts to be cre­ated

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Sar­wat Nasir @Sar­watNasir sar­

Dubai-based re­tail gi­ant Ma­jid Al Fut­taim Hold­ing has an­nounced plans to build 10 new malls as part of a ma­jor ex­pan­sion over the next 10 years.

The com­pany said the Dhs30 bil­lion in­vest­ment planned for the UAE would di­rectly and in­di­rectly cre­ate 170,000 jobs.

Ma­jid Al Fut­taim, which de­vel­oped Mall of the Emi­rates, City Cen­tre Deira and City Cen­tre Mirdif, among oth­ers, gave de­tails of the ex­pan­sion at a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

The ex­pan­sion will in­clude Shar­jah’s first ‘su­per-re­gional mall’ and shop­ping cen­tres in Abu Dhabi, in­clud­ing one at Mas­dar City.

It will also see the ex­pan­sion of cin­e­mas, leisure and en­ter­tain­ment, health­care, fash­ion, 40 new Car­refour hy­per­mar­kets and su­per­mar­kets.

Alain Be­j­jani, CEO of 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.”

MAF will also un­der­take six ex­pan­sions to its ex­ist­ing malls, in­clud­ing ex­ten­sions to City Cen­tre Aj­man and City Cen­tre Me’aisem, near Sports City.

MAF will also ex­pand its port­fo­lio of ho­tels with six new de­vel­op­ments across sites in­clud­ing Mall of the Emi­rates, City Cen­tre Mirdif and a planned mixed-use com­mu­nity in Dubai.

Robert We­lan­etz, CEO of MAF Prop­er­ties, was asked if Dubai needed more shop­ping cen­tres, but said rapidly grow­ing pop­u­la­tion and in­creased tourism said there is still de­mand to be met.

We­lan­etz added: “First, there is a rise of pop­u­la­tion hap­pen­ing in the coun­try, and sec­ond, there is a rise in tourism. So, Dubai is in­creas­ing its spot for re­tail.”

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