UAE-based shopping mall developer and retail and leisure operator Majid Al Futtaim has announced plans to develop two new shopping malls in Riyadh, which will see a series of luxury international fashion brands, as well as unique entertainment and leisure experiences coming to the Kingdom for the first time at Mall of Saudi and City Centre Ishbiliyah.
The two new developments will bring the total number of Majid Al Futtaim owned and operated malls to more than 20 across the MENA region and will help to continue the company’s rich heritage of launching many of the world’s most sought after brands into new markets. The mall concepts are expected to be funded in line with the company’s prudent financial management and consistent with its BBB credit rating levels.
“Today is a significant milestone for Majid Al Futtaim, and one that we have been eagerly awaiting. For over two decades we have been shaping the retail landscape in the region and beyond by introducing its first integrated retail, leisure and entertainment experience, driven by the vision of our founder to create great moments for everyone, every day,” says Alain Bejjani, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim – Holding.
“Our spirit of innovation has seen us make it snow in the desert for the first time with Ski Dubai, introduce the region’s first indoor and outdoor waterpark in Bahrain and bring countless world-renowned international brands to the Middle East and beyond. We look forward to delivering similar life-changing experiences for residents and guests of Saudi Arabia through our new mall developments in Riyadh, which will also deliver more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs to the capital,” he adds.
“Bringing to life such iconic destinations requires a significant amount of collaboration between the public and private sectors. We are privileged to witness the authorities welcoming our projects and investments by ensuring the highest levels of support and collaboration,” Bejjani elaborates.
In north Riyadh, Majid Al Futtaim plans to build Mall of Saudi, the Kingdom’s largest and first fully integrated lifestyle destination, with a total land area of over 9.3 million sqft, which will include one of the world’s largest indoor snow parks. The development plan also includes more than 3.2 million sqft of shops, restaurants and entertainment areas, prime residential units, offices and showroom space, luxury hotels, serviced apartment buildings and other public amenities.
The ‘Mall of’ brand is Majid Al Futtaim’s flagship super regional mall offering which brings unique experiences to customers in the MENA region, including snow parks and ski slopes, the most sought after brands from luxury to lifestyle, an exclusive mix of food and beverage and other innovative retail concepts.
The first phase of development at Mall of Saudi, which is set to commence by mid-2017 and be completed by 2022, will see the opening of the mall, ski slope, one hotel and serviced apartment building as well as other general infrastructures. Future phases will include the development of the residential, office, medical centre and hotel plots. Once completed, the development will provide a landscaped and green environment for both local residents and tourists to live, work and play.
In east Riyadh, Majid Al Futtaim plans to expand the region’s largest mall network by building City Centre Ishbiliyah. The mall will be Saudi Arabia’s first City Centre mall, which is an international award-winning brand with 13 malls located across the MENA region. It will cover over one million sqft of gross leasable area and will feature 250 stores, a 97,000-sqft Carrefour hypermarket, a food court and an entertainment complex including Magic Planet. The key areas of the mall will be designed to create distinct precincts that flow into each other and create delightfully different experiences for the customers as they move from one to the other.
Majid Al Futtaim has had a significant presence in Saudi Arabia for more than 11 years through Carrefour, operating 12 hypermarkets and four supermarkets with more than 2,500 employees. The company also operates Enova in Saudi Arabia, a facility management company, through a joint venture operation with Veolia and owns a fashion retail business representing international brands such as Jane Norman, Juicy Couture and Peacocks.