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Nakheel reportedly in talks to build new UAE malls

Nakheel is pushing out of Dubai to build in other UAE emirates such as Sharjah, marking a major change in its strategy to date

Ali Rashid Lootah, Nakheel's chairman.
Ali Rashid Lootah, Nakheel's chairman.

Developer Nakheel is in talks to build more than one shopping mall outside of Dubai, according to multiple news reports.

Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah told Reuters news agency that Nakheel — which this month announced its first retail project in Sharjah — was in talks with emirates about retail opportunities outside of Dubai.

“We’re talking to other entities in the Northern Emirates and other emirates on new retail opportunities,” Ali Rashid Lootah said on the sidelines of the World Retail Congress in Madrid,” according to comments obtained by Reuters and reported by multiple news organisations in the UAE, including Construction Week's sister title Arabian Business.

READ: Construction of Nakheel's $1.6bn Deira Mall to complete in 2021

“We signed one contract for retail in Sharjah and will be announcing more for other emirates,” added Lootah.

Nakheel’s stomping ground has historically been Dubai, where the company boasts master developments such as Palm Jumeirah, Deira Islands, and Jumeirah Village.

But the company’s plan to explore retail opportunities in other emirates suggests a change in strategy for a developer that generates billions of dollars in revenue every year.

The first major sign of Nakheel expanding outside its usual territory was when it formed a joint venture with Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) to develop its first project outside Dubai.

Under terms of the deal, the two companies will work together to build a $20.4m (AED75m) retail centre in Sharjah. Design work is already underway on this project and the two companies may also explore other opportunities in Sharjah’s retail and real estate markets.

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