MAF announces $816.7mn investment plan

Mall developer looking to double business size by 2018

NEWS, Business, Arab Spring, Carrefour, MAF, Mall of emirates, Tourism, Trade

Dubai mall developer Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) said it will invest another AED3bn ($816.7mn) over the next five years to expand its business in the Emirate, looking to take advantage of a trade and tourism boom at its home base.

MAF, renowned for building an indoor ski slope in Dubai, is expanding aggressively in the Middle East and aims to double the size of its business by 2018.

The unlisted firm said its revenue for 2013 was AED23bn ($6bn), up 10% year-on-year.

Its earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortization (EBIDTA) from recurring operations grew by 12% to reach AED3.3bn ($898mn), the company added, without providing full-year net profit figure.

It has been helped by a tourism-led recovery in Dubai's economy since 2011, which benefited from a safe-haven status amid the regional Arab Spring uprising. About 70% of MAF's assets are currently based in the United Arab Emirates.

The unlisted firm, which has the sole franchisee of Carrefour hypermarkets in the region, plans to invest over AED3bn ($816mn) on extending its Dubai businesses over the next five years, it said in a statement.

This includes two new hotel developments, renovating two existing hotels and redeveloping its flagship Mall of the Emirates. It will also open four new Carrefour supermarkets in Dubai.

MAF chief executive Iyad Malas said last week that it plans to invest about $2.3bn ($626mn) in Egypt in the next few years.

"Future growth in the Middle East and North Africa will be driven by regional large-scale expansion plans for our portfolios in Egypt in addition to new malls envisaged in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Oman, and residential projects in Lebanon," Malas said in the statement.


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