By Andy Sambidge
Five new cinemas set to open in Oman, the UAE and Beirut during 2013, says MAF exec
UAE retail giant Majid Al Futtaim said on Monday it was planning a major expansion of its VOX Cinemas brand in the Middle East.
VOX Cinemas, formerly CineStar Cinemas, is now wholly owned by Majid Al Futtaim Ventures which is set to launch five new locations in 2013, doubling the company's screen count.
This includes an expansion into new and emerging markets across the Middle East, with two VOX Cinemas planned in Oman and one in Beirut, Lebanon.
VOX Cinemas will also increase its presence in the UAE, adding two new VOX Cinemas in the northern Emirates.
The company said by the end of 2013 it would have a total of 10 cinemas operating in the region.
"Building upon the successful platform the VOX Cinemas brand has achieved in the UAE, Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas is poised for further growth as it looks to enter new, emerging markets," said Ahmed Galal Ismail, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Ventures.
"This reflects the wider vision of Majid Al Futtaim Ventures to grow its entertainment concepts across the Middle East region, and we are confident that VOX Cinemas will continue to redefine the entertainment landscape in these new - and future markets."
He said VOX Cinemas is set to open in early 2013 in Beirut City Centre, a new shopping and lifestyle destination currently under development by Majid Al Futtaim Properties.
Muscat, Oman has also been identified as a growth market, with plans to two VOX Cinemas locations by December 2013.
"The VOX Cinemas business has aggressive growth plans that include entry into new, emerging markets across the region and expansion within the UAE," said Cameron Mitchell, CEO of VOX Cinemas.
"We're looking to raise the benchmark of cinema standards across the Middle East. By the end of 2013, we will have launched five new VOX Cinemas, and have entered three new markets - Oman and Lebanon, and Fujairah in the UAE, with more expansion plans to be announced soon."
Within the UAE, VOX Cinemas is set to open at Fujairah City Centre in Q1 2013 followed by a renovated seven-screen cinema in Mercato Mall, Dubai.