Company: Al Futtaim Group
Country: United Arab Emirates
Wealth: 4.9 Billion
The name Majid Al Futtaim has become synonymous with shopping, entertainment and leisure in the Middle East and 2010 has seen the mall giant go from strength to strength. The man who introduced shopping malls and hypermarkets to the region, Al Futtaim has built an empire that stands tall even despite the current downturn and resultant belt-tightening on show across the Gulf.
Having established his company in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim is most famous for building some of the emirate’s largest shopping malls and leisure centres, which have acted as a magnet for both consumers and retail businesses, and attract over 120 million visitors each year.
Al Futtaim opened his first shopping mall in 1995, City Centre in Dubai, and in September 2005 he opened the jewel in the company’s crown, the Mall of the Emirates. One of the largest shopping resorts outside North America, it is home to the five-star Kempinski and one of the world’s first indoor ski resorts.
Following the opening of the Mirdif City Centre in Dubai, the company has gone from strength to strength and announced its plan to invest $3.5bn developing four new shopping malls in the UAE, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon over the next five years.
On top of the ten currently in operation, the four new shopping malls will increase Majid Al Futtaim Properties' total gross leasable area (GLA) to more than 1.3 million square metres.