Oma­nis to run Ma­jid Al Fut­taim’s 3 new malls

While three new malls be­ing built by Ma­jid Al Fut­taim will be run by Oma­nis, the firm is also ex­pand­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for cit­i­zens and plans to re­cruit new ta­lent from Oman’s univer­si­ties

Times of Oman - - OMAN - RAHUL DAS

MUS­CAT: The Mall of Oman, City Cen­tre So­har and City Cen­tre Sur will now be run by Omani na­tion­als, a se­nior of­fi­cial at Ma­jid Al Fut­taim (MAF) said.

Husam Al Mand­hari, se­nior mall man­ager for City Cen­tre Mus­cat said for the last 15 years, Ma­jid Al Fut­taim has been iden­ti­fy­ing, men­tor­ing and em­ploy­ing Omani na­tion­als to con­trib­ute to mak­ing the re­tail sec­tor more sus­tain­able. “Skills de­vel­op­ment in the creation, build­ing, op­er­a­tions, and man­age­ment of world­class shop­ping malls and life­style des­ti­na­tions has en­sured a longterm role for Omani na­tion­als through­out Ma­jid Al Fut­taim’s as­sets in Oman.”

“As the com­pany con­tin­ues to in­vest mil­lions of Omani ri­als in build­ing three new malls, all of which will be run by Omani na­tion­als, and main­tain­ing its ex­ist­ing des­ti­na­tions, we will ex­pand the op­por­tu­ni­ties for our ex­ist­ing Omani col­leagues to move to the new stages of their ca­reers, while re­cruit­ing bright new ta­lent from Oman’s univer­si­ties,” he said.

Ma­jid Al Fut­taim is cur­rently cel­e­brat­ing City Cen­tre Mus­cat’s 15th an­niver­sary.

When asked whether fall­ing oil prices have af­fected their busi­ness, Al Mand­hari said the com­pany con­tin­ues to make progress in the re­gion. “This is be­cause of our in­te­grated busi­ness model, bal­anced port­fo­lio across the re­gion, tight fo­cus on cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and a broad cus­tomer base, which pro­tects us dur­ing short-term eco­nomic fluc­tu­a­tions. These at­tributes also al­low us to ben­e­fit from the long-term trend of ris­ing re­tail spend­ing across our key mar­kets, which is pri­mar­ily driven by pop­u­la­tion growth.”

Re­veal­ing the lat­est on Ma­jid Al Fut­taim’s other projects in Oman, he said the com­pany has three new projects in the pipe­line. “Es­ti­mated at OMR275 mil­lion, the Mall of Oman will be the largest in­te­grated re­tail, leisure and en­ter­tain­ment des­ti­na­tion in the Sul­tanate when it opens in 2020. City Cen­tre So­har (es­ti­mated at OMR45 mil­lion), will open in 2018 and City Cen­tre Sur (es­ti­mated at OMR15 mil­lion), will open in 2017.”

Ma­jid Al Fut­taim’s in­vest­ments are an­tic­i­pated to cre­ate more than 42,000 di­rect and in­di­rect job op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Sul­tanate dur­ing the next five years. While the Mall of Oman will gen­er­ate 29,000 di­rect and in­di­rect job op­por­tu­ni­ties, the City Cen­tre Sur and So­har will gen­er­ate 3,500 and 8,000 em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, re­spec­tively.

Re­gard­ing City Cen­tre Mus­cat’s con­tri­bu­tion to the Sul­tanate’s re­tail in­dus­try, Al Mand­hari said: “Since its open­ing, this mall has set the stan­dard for re­tail, leisure, and din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences in the Sul­tanate. Over the past 15 years we have in­tro­duced count­less in­ter­na­tional brands to Oman, hosted un­for­get­table fam­ily ex­pe­ri­ences and cre­ated great mo­ments for our cus­tomers.”

About the brands mak­ing their en­trance in the Omani mar­ket with City Cen­tre Mus­cat, he said: “Since 2001, City Cen­tre Mus­cat has of­fered a gate­way for many in­ter­na­tional re­tail­ers en­ter­ing Oman, with an im­pres­sive list of first-to-Oman in­ter­na­tional brands, in­clud­ing: Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret, Bobbi Brown Cos­met­ics, Bath & Body Works, Vir­gin Mega­s­tore, Ber­shka, Amer­i­can Ea­gle Out­fit­ters, Ko­ton, F&F fash­ion ac­ces­sories, New Look, Guess Ac­ces­sories, Lovisa, and hand­made cos­met­ics Lush, Shake Shack, Kose­baci and Ahwak to name a few.”

City Cen­tre Mus­cat is the first and largest life­style shop­ping des­ti­na­tion in Oman and at­tracts more than 10 mil­lion vis­i­tors an­nu­ally. Al Mand­hari also stated that the com­pany sees growth po­ten­tial in all the lo­ca­tions.

“Over­all, we are see­ing a shift in spend­ing pat­terns as the pop­u­la­tion be­comes wealth­ier, while an in­creas­ing num­ber of high­net-worth in­di­vid­u­als has led to the growth of lux­ury and fash­ion brands and the emer­gence of niche mar­ket con­cepts, such high­end re­tail cen­tres.”

“Although spend­ing pat­terns have been shift­ing as life­styles change, the Omani con­sumer price in­dex shows that a large por­tion of house­hold spend­ing still goes to­wards food and re­lated prod­ucts, a trend re­flected in the steady growth of hy­per­mar­kets.”

BOOST­ING EM­PLOY­MENT: Es­ti­mated at OMR275 mil­lion, the Mall of Oman will be the largest in­te­grated re­tail, leisure and en­ter­tain­ment des­ti­na­tion in the Sul­tanate when it opens in 2020.

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