By Courtney Trenwith
Dubai-based conglomerate announces its fourth new mall in MENA anchored by IKEA
Dubai-based conglomerate Al-Futtaim Group has signed a joint venture agreement to develop the largest mall in Morocco and one of the biggest in North Africa.
The shopping centre is the fourth to be announced by Al-Futtaim in recent years, with all of them to be anchored by Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA.
The others are in Egypt, Oman and Qatar.
The joint venture also includes Marjane Holding, a leading Moroccan retail developer, and Portuguese company Sonae Sierra, which owns 49 shopping centres and manages 85 malls internationally.
The Moroccan mall will include 120,000 square metres of retail space across two levels, including a 26,000sqm IKEA store, a 8,350sqm Marjane hypermarket, a 10,000sqm leisure and fun zone and a 3,400sqm cinema, as well as other retailers.
It will be built within the new Zenata Eco-City, a government project on the eastern border of Casablanca, and is scheduled to open in 2017.
Zenata Eco-City’s 1,830 hectare master-plan is expected to become home to 300,000 people as part of a strategic plan to reduce socio-economic imbalances between the East and West of the capital and to boost the city’s economy.
It is Al-Futtaim Group’s first project in Morocco.
“This is a major milestone for Al-Futtaim Group’s inaugural foray into Morocco’s 32 million-strong market as we continue our regional expansion drive in the African continent,” Al-Futtaim Group vice president Omar Al Futtaim said.
“With roughly 15 percent of the country’s total population concentrated in the immediate catchment area of this development, our investment promises to yield the right returns.”
The Al-Futtaim Group includes 100 companies in industries such as retail, property, automotive and insurance, in 30 markets.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.