Al Futtaim signs deal for $1.6bn Doha mall project
Deal with QIB and Aqar Real Estate launches biggest complex in capital
Al Futtaim Group, the UAE company that includes real estate and engineering divisions, has signed an accord with Qatar Islamic Bank and Aqar Real Estate for Doha’s biggest multipurpose complex.
The project is located on the northern highway that links the airport with the stalled development of the Qatar-Bahrain causeway and has been valued at USD $1.6 billion. It will cover an area of 433,00m2 and construction will begin early next year in three phases, the companies said in a joint statement.
The first phase will take a year to complete; the second and third phases have a deadline of 2015. It will eventually include a retail centre, an entertainment park and two hotels. Al Futtaim Group companies IKEA, ACE Toys "R" Us, Marks & Spencer and Intersport have been confirmed as key tenants.
Salah Jaidah, CEO of Qatar Islamic Bank, said the project “represents a new phase in the country's economic evolution and will raise Qatar's profile as a nation focused on innovation, excellence, and dynamic sustainable development”.
“Ultimately the agreement is in accordance with QIB's strategy to fuel the country's expansion and the State of Qatar's 2030 vision. I am immensely proud to have Al-Futtaim as our partner in progress.”
Robert Willett, Al-Futtaim Group CEO, said the project will transform the leisure, retail and entertainment industry in Doha while providing visitors a very attractive destination. "Our involvement symbolises Al-Futtaim's desire to remain innovative across all markets,” he said.
The project will also include the construction of a six-lane highway that will increase the flow of traffic to the destination.
Details of the agreement were overseen by advisor Q-Invest, a specialist in Sharia'a compliant investment banking. The project has also received outstanding support from the government of the State of Qatar, according to the companies.
The agreement was signed by representatives of all parties at Al Badia Golf Club in Dubai Festival City, a multi-purpose complex developed by Al Futtaim Real Estate. Al Futtaim Group already has a presence in the Qatari capital through its automotive, retail, technology and engineering businesses.
It is as yet unclear the extent of the involvement of the engineering division - which supplies elevators, MEP work, security systems and building products - to the project.