MAF Properties awards Egypt mall deal

Mall of Egypt construction contract awarded to Orascom Construction / Besix joint venture

Majid Al Futtaim Properties, which operate major shopping malls with hotels and ‎communities in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), announced on Thursday that it had awarded the construction contract valued at $400 million for Mall of Egypt to a joint venture between Orascom Construction  and the BESIX Group.

The Mall, which will be built on 399,400 square metres of land on Al Wahat Road in Sixth of October City outside of Cairo, will offer 162,500 square metres of Gross Leasable Area and will host approximately 380 shops, anchored by a Carrefour hypermarket and indoor Ski Park, 17-screen cinema complex and an amusement park.  The development will represent a total investment of EGP 4.9 billion ($800 million). Construction will start after the final building permit is secured, expected by end of 2012. The project is expected to employ 9,000 people during the construction phase and 7,000 once the Mall has opened.

Peter Walichnowski, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim Properties, commented: “We are now in our 20th year of operations and, notably, have been in Egypt for ten of those years. Egypt’s strong economic fundamentals, such as its young and growing population, make it an attractive growth market.  We are committed to building on our success in Egypt and investing in the country’s long-term economic growth.

“We have been very impressed with the Orascom Construction/BESIX Joint Venture team and the work they have done in Egypt.  We look forward to a successful partnership.”  Walichnowski added.

OCI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nassef Sawiris commented: “This is the largest foreign investment in Egypt since the election of the new government. We have been very impressed by the efficient manner in which the new leadership reviewed required regulatory approvals for this project and we look forward to continuing to work together.  The Mall of Egypt development marks an important milestone in Egypt’s economic recovery and signals a resurgence of private foreign investment in the country.  Over the past decade Orascom Construction has been a key player in the construction of Egypt’s mega commercial projects and is responsible for a total built-up area of over 2 million square meters, including the extension of Majid Al Futtaim Properties’ Maadi City Centre.  The Mall of Egypt award underscores the success of the joint venture in constructing large-scale commercial projects and we look forward to building on our long-standing relationship with Majid Al Futtaim Properties.”

Majid Al Futtaim Properties’ direct investments in Egypt amount to EGP 2.5 billion ($410 million) to date. Majid Al Futtaim opened its first mall in Egypt in 2002. Maadi City Centre offers 31,351 square metres of GLA and has 97 retailers. The company then opened Alexandria City Centre in 2003, which accommodates 211 retailers in over 61,774 square metres of GLA.   Majid Al Futtaim Properties has created more than 3,500 job opportunities across the country.

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