UAE's Lulu to invest $200m in Malaysian hypermarkets

Abu Dhabi-based retail firm inks deal with Malaysian gov't to expand footprint over the next few years

Yusuffali MA, founder of EMKE Group which owns LuLu.

Yusuffali MA, founder of EMKE Group which owns LuLu.

Abu Dhabi-based Lulu International Group is set to open hypermarkets in Malaysia under a collaboration with the country's Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA).

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Malaysia's deputy Prime Minister, said under the joint venture, Lulu Group would open its first hypermarket in Kuala Lumpur this year before unveiling another five at different locations in the next few years.

He said the group had agreed to invest $200 million on its hypermarkets in Malaysia.

"They will also help market more Malaysian products at their hypermarkets, including those produced by our small-and medium-sized industries and FELDA," he said in comments published by the official Malaysian news agency.

"It is, indeed, a good opportunity for us as Lulu International is the biggest operator of hypermarkets chain in the region with an annual turnover of more than $5 billion," he added after visiting a Lulu hypermarket in Dubai.

Lulu Group has more than 100 hypermarkets in the Middle East and one in Kerala, India.

The deputy PM also said the group had also agreed to sign contract farming deals with local farmers and entrepreneurs to help supply fresh vegetables and fruits to their hypermarkets.

"They are interested to buy in bulk highlands vegetables and we may promote the produce from Cameron Highlands (Pahang) and Kundasang (Sabah)," he said.

Yassin established a personal relationship with Lulu Group founder, Yusuff Ali MA, when he helped to promote Malaysian products in the UAE during his tenure as Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister.

Commenting on the Malaysian expansion, Ashraf Ali MA, executive director of Lulu Group, said: "We are delighted and encouraged by the support we have been receiving from the Malaysian goverment for our malaysian launch. We are very positive about the Malaysian market and are sure to give the shoppers in Malaysia the very best of international shopping and convenience."

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