MAF to maintain focus on community mall projects

Fujairah City Centre developer targets five malls in next three years

Mall of the Emirates is one of MAF's bigger mall projects
Mall of the Emirates is one of MAF's bigger mall projects

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), the developer of Fujariah City Centre which opened Wednesday, is planning to maintain its focus on community mall projects.

Speaking to Construction Week following Fujairah City Centre’s official opening, MAF’s Senior Development Manager, Rory Bestic said:

“We are looking across the region, certainly across the UAE, to expand these community malls – so that’s anything up to 30,000m² GLA (Gross Leasable Area). Our target is to have five on the ground in two to three years.”

“We’re looking at two to three sites in Dubai, a couple in Abu Dhabi. We have land banks in Dubai and Sharjah,” he added.

While MAF owns and operates Mall of the Emirates, one of the biggest retail outlets in the region, it also operates four other community malls in the Emirates including Mirdif City Centre, Deira City Centre, and Sharjah City Centre.

When asked about recent news of MAF searching for a mega mall site in Abu Dhabi, Bestic said:

“We’re in negotiation, as we always have been, to find a good site in Abu Dhabi. It’s obviously a big market that needs more servicing from a super-regional perspective.

“At the same time we’re looking at community malls down there as well. I expect a community mall will be on the ground before a super-regional mall.”

Speaking at a press conference prior to the official opening of Fujairah City Centre, MAF’s CEO, Peter Walichnowski, highlighted the contribution such community malls make to their locale:

“I think we can all agree that Fujairah City Centre is going to be a fantastic addition to the Fujairah community. The government of Fujairah has been incredibly supportive of this project.”

Fujairah City Centre, was officially opened by its patron, Sheikh Mohammed Al Sharqi at a plaque-unveiling ceremony Wednesday morning.

The mall is a joint venture between MAF and the Fujairah municipality, is the emirate’s largest shopping, leisure, and entertainment outlet, and contains more than 100 stores.

It cost $109m (AED 400m) and opened six weeks earlier than scheduled.

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