Retail MAF unveils plan to open more malls in Egypt, Saudi and UAE By Gavin Gibbon March 6, 2023 citycentrealzahia.com MAF opened the City Centre Al Zahia mall in Sharjah in 2021 Shopping centre owner points to rising consumer confidence in UAEMajid Al Futtaim’s group revenue rose 12% to $9.88 billion in 2022Double-digit growth also recorded in hotels and entertainment divisions Retail and property conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim has unveiled plans to expand in the GCC and North Africa as consumer confidence rises. The Dubai-based company said it wanted “further expansion in high growth potential markets such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as well as in its home market, the UAE, amid a resurgence in consumer confidence”. Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), which owns 29 malls, 13 hotels and other retail and leisure assets, announced the expansion plan alongside its 2022 results. The group reported a 12 percent rise in consolidated revenue to AED36.3 billion ($9.88 billion). Omanis buy into Gulf shopping mall cultureMiddle East on a roll as fastest-growing theme park market Net profit dipped by 2 percent to AED2.4 billion, however, and MAF attributed the drop to “increasing challenges in the form of inflation, supply chain pressures and energy shortages slowing global economic growth in 2022”. Ahmed Galal Ismail, the group’s CEO, said: “Overall, Majid Al Futtaim delivered balanced growth through 2022. Positive contributions from across our portfolio, bolstered by the inherent strength of the UAE economy, have enabled the group to achieve double-digit revenue growth despite the macroeconomic challenges.” Revenue for the MAF properties division increased by 43 percent to AED5.8 billion, bolstered by the strong recovery across malls and particularly the full-year results for the City Centre Al Zahia in Sharjah and the Mall of Oman in Muscat, which both opened in 2021. Shopping mall footfall increased 16 percent to 212 million visitors while tenant sales grew 11 percent. MAF’s hotels portfolio reported a 48 percent rise in revenue to AED671 million. Revenue per available room and average occupancy also increased, by 50 percent and 14 percent respectively. The retail division, which operates Carrefour hypermarkets and supermarkets, recorded a 7 percent increase in revenue to AED28 billion. The company also opened seven hypermarkets and 28 supermarkets across nine countries, bringing its total number of stores to more than 450. Revenues for MAF Entertainment, which includes Vox cinemas, were up 23 percent to AED1.6 billion. Further growth is set to be fuelled by recent distribution rights deals with Warner Bros Pictures and Universal.