In an initiative to support the "Dubai 2020" tourism vision, endorsed by His Higness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Majid Al Futtaim Holding today announced major plans to invest Dh3 billion on extending and enhancing its Dubai businesses over the next five years.
The plans include: two new hotels developments; upgrading two existing hotels; enhancements to its flagship Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre shopping malls; opening four new Carrefour supermarkets and two new hypermarkets; as well as building a new 14-screen cinema complex.
The company is also evaluating options for the development of a new 50-store Community Mall in a prime residential area of Dubai.
Majid Al Futtaim 's major investment program reflects the return to growth of the Dubai market and of the UAE economy which is expected to achieve 3.6 per cent GDP growth in 2013 (IMF forecast).
It also highlights the company's significant contribution to Dubai's tourism sector, which is moving steadily towards achieving its target of 20 million visitors by 2020, as set by the 'Dubai 2020' vision aiming to raise Dubai's profile as a leading tourism destination.
Iyad Malas, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Holding , commented, "All the economic indicators and our own experience are telling us that the Dubai market is entering a new phase of dynamic growth and development.
"We are investing now to ensure that our facilities are enhanced and expanded in order to meet the future demand of our customers.
"We are experiencing 11% growth in the number of people visiting our Dubai malls in 2013.
"Average occupancy rates in our hotels achieved 81% in Q1 2013.
"There is an increasing number of major retailers wanting to open in our malls and we are witnessing a growing demand across all our businesses."
The Mall of The Emirates is to undergo an Dh930 million extension, the first phase of which will be a new Dh100 million fashion district dedicated to contemporary apparel.
"More than 30 new fashion stores will define this new retail precinct, unveiling a refreshed collection of debut brands that will complement the mall's existing fashion offer."
Mall of The Emirates ' new fashion district will result in the transformation of a key precinct in the mall's East wing, on the first floor in a more than 50,000 square foot zone. The project, to be completed by the end of 2013, involves a comprehensive re-merchandising strategy that includes integrating existing and new contemporary fashion brands.
The Kempinski Mall of The Emirates is undergoing a major hotel upgrade program for its 393 rooms, meeting facilities and restaurants. The program is due for completion in 2015.