The retail industry lost one of it’s most iconic leaders – Majid Al Futtaim, who passed away on Friday, December 17. Majid Al Futtaim was born in Dubai in 1930s in a business-oriented family. The Emirati billionaire businessman was born into a family of traders in Dubai. He started off as a bank clerk before founding the Majid Al Futtaim Group in 1992, one of the largest retail and real estate conglomerates in the region, with projects in Asia and Africa. The rich legacy he leaves goes beyond the shopping malls and retail empire he built.
The Group now has a portfolio of the leading shopping malls, communities, retail and leisure centres across the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. He has been credited to changing the face of retail, leisure and entertainment across the Middle East, starting with City Centre Deira in 1995. The mall was also home to the first branch of French hypermarket chain Carrefour and family entertainment centre Magic Planet in the UAE. Under his vision and guidance, the Group operates 350 Carrefour stores in 17 countries, 500 VOX Cinemas, Ski Dubai, Ski Egypt, Dreamscape, Magic Planet amongst many more under the Group’s portfolio. He was on the world’s top 10 richest Arabs’ list in 2021 by Forbes with a net worth of $3.6 billion. He was also recognised as one of the Retail Legends in Images RetailME’s Icons 2021, the MENA region’s first-ever retail power list.
The Al Futtaim Group today operates shopping malls, retail and leisure establishments in the Middle East and North Africa. The group has three major operating subsidiaries: Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Majid Al Futtaim Retail, and Majid Al Futtaim Ventures. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, paid tribute to him on Twitter. “May Allah Almighty bestow his mercy upon our brother, Majid Al Futtaim, a creative businessperson, and one of Dubai’s most important senior businessmen. Majid Al Futtaim, a man of endless goodness, who never stopped giving back to his nation, recently employed 3,000 Emiratis. May his soul rest in peace,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted. Sheikh Mohammed also noted that one of Al Futtaim’s most significant announcements recently was his decision to hire 3,000 Emiratis over the next five years.
Mr Majid was a visionary entrepreneur and a truly exceptional man who transformed the retailing experience both here in the UAE and more widely across the region. His extraordinary foresight and clarity of purpose not only set the company on the path to success, but also contributed towards the UAE’s global reputation for innovation and excellence. Alain Bejjani, CEO, MAF Holding, said Majid Al Futtaim’s extraordinary foresight and clarity of purpose not only set the group on the path to success, but also greatly contributed to the UAE’s global reputation for innovation and excellence. His passing is a tragic loss to the company and the Middle East retail region. Our deepest condolences to the entire family and the Majid Al Futtaim team.
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