Dubai's MAF announces $816m investment plan

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Iyad Malas, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Holding.

Iyad Malas, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Holding.

Majid Al Futtaim Holding has announced plans to invest AED3bn ($816m) in its Dubai businesses over the next five years to support the emirate's Dubai 2020 tourism vision.

The mall developer said its plans include two new hotels developments; upgrading two existing hotels; enhancements to its flagship Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre shopping malls; opening four new Carrefour supermarkets and two new hypermarkets; as well as building a new 14-screen cinema complex.

The company said in a statement that it is also evaluating options for the development of a new 50-store community mall in a prime residential area of Dubai.

Iyad Malas, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Holding, said: "All the economic indicators and our own experience are telling us that the Dubai market is entering a new phase of dynamic growth and development.

"We are investing now to ensure that our facilities are enhanced and expanded in order to meet the future demand of our customers."

He added that the company is seeing an 11 percent growth in footfall at its Dubai malls so far in 2013 while average occupancy rates in its hotels reached 81 percent in Q1.

"There is an increasing number of major retailers wanting to open in our malls and we are witnessing a growing demand across all our businesses," he said.

The Mall of The Emirates is to undergo an AED930m extension, the first phase of which will be a new AED100m fashion district dedicated to contemporary apparel.

Mall of The Emirates' new fashion district will result in the transformation of a key precinct in the mall's East wing, on the first floor in a more than 50,000 square foot zone.

The Kempinski Mall of The Emirates is undergoing a major hotel upgrade programme for its 393 rooms, meeting facilities and restaurants.

The programme is due for completion in 2015. Majid Al Futtaim is also planning to develop a new ultra-luxury branded hotel within Mall of The Emirates precinct.

The new hotel will have 200 rooms, multiple restaurants, as well as sports and leisure facilities.

Majid Al Futtaim has also developed plans to build a luxury hotel in Deira City Centre which will include 272 rooms while the Pullman Deira City Centre hotel is undergoing a rebranding and refurbishment programme that will complete later this year.

MAF said Deira City Centre is currently undergoing a significant reinvestment which will result in the introduction of new dining options and a new healthcare clinic.

The statement also said that Majid Al Futtaim Ventures, which opened a new 7-screen cinema earlier this year, plans to invest a further AED307m to enhance existing properties, as well as building a new 14-screen cinema complex in one of Dubai's shopping malls.

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