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Alvaro Portela

Alvaro Portela

Chairman, Majid al Futtaim (MAF) Properties
Mohammed Al Rais
Gurjit Singh

Majid al Futtaim (MAF) Properties is one of the finest examples of a consistently successful developer. It has expanded across the wider region where it has made job creation for local people a priority.

MAF Properties has a great reputation for malls with 12 so far including the Mall of Emirates, Mirdif City Centre and Deira City Centre in Dubai alone while the highly successful Beirut City Centre mall achieved a footfall of 400,000 within its first two weeks of opening this year.

Portela says the $350m investment in Beirut is part of a wider $2bn investment plan for Lebanon over the next 10 years.

His company has a similar strategy in Egypt where MAF Properties has secured $450m worth of financing to fund its Mall of Egypt development (will Dubai-style indoor skiing), with an emphasis on job creation for local people.

MAF is also known for its hotels, including the Kempinski and Sheraton in Dubai and the Kempinski Grand and Ixir in Bahrain City Centre.

It also has four million square metres of residential and community buildings under development, more than half of that at The Wave, Muscat in a joint development with the Omani government.

Alvaro Portela’s vision is “to be recognised as the market leader in the development, ownership and management of shopping malls, and the most respected developer of shopping malls, hotels and mixed-use communities in the MENA and nearby regions.”

Few would argue that MAF Properties is setting a developer standard that many will wish to emulate.

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Construction Week - Issue 765
Jun 29, 2020