By Andy Sambidge
Company signs agreement to build complex in Muscat; to include IKEA, M&S and Toys R Us
Dubai-based Al-Futtaim said on Sunday it has signed an agreement with officials in Oman to build the country's largest retail mall.
Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) and the Omani National Investment Funds Company SAOC (NIFCO) have signed a memorandum of understanding with Al-Futtaim for the development and management of the project in Muscat.
The mall will be located next to the proposed Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre and will be home to the first IKEA store in Muscat and other renowned global brands such as Marks & Spencer and Toys R Us, a statement said.
It added that the mall will also feature an entertainment and food court complex.
Al-Futtaim recently inaugurated IKEA Qatar completing phase one of Doha Festival City and plans to officially open Cairo Festival City later this year where IKEA is also an anchor tenant.
Al-Futtaim vice chairman Omar Al Futtaim said: "This is a significant milestone for Al-Futtaim's operations in Oman.
"The creation of major retail hubs is crucial towards the development of tourism as it helps destinations attract both regional and domestic traffic and this agreement today lays the foundations upon which Muscat can enhance its future tourism product and enrich the city's retail landscape," he added.
"This super-regional mall is designed to inject a new impetus in the local job market both in the short and in the longer terms and upon its completion it aspires to meet the increasingly discerning retail and entertainment needs of rapidly growing middle income Omaniswhile helping the country attract more cross-border, intraregional and international visitors."
In Oman, Al-Futtaim has been present since 1974 and today operates from seven different locations across the sultanate in trading, property and financial services spanning a portfolio of automotive, retail, insurance, marine, electronics,and engineering businesses.
Nasser bin Khamis Al Jashmi, chairman of Omran, said: "During its development phases, the project will create many new employment opportunities for Omanis and upon completion it will have the potential of becoming a key long-term employer for the Sultanate's career seekers across a variety of sectors."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.