DUBAI — The Middle East’s largest mall developer, Majid Al Futtaim, on Monday unveiled an ambitious retail infrastructure development plan in the sultanate of Oman. The investment would be $1.8 billion by 2020.
“We have always been pioneering in the Omani market. We are proud to renew our commitment to be the leading GCC investor in the Sultanate,” said Majid Al Futtaim Holding chief executive officer Alain Bejjani. The Dubai-based developer’s investment in Oman’s retail and leisure infrastructure is in line with the country’s National Strategy for Tourism 2040, which targets a 6 percent rise in the contribution of the tourism sector to the GDP and a near doubling of visitor numbers to five million annually.
The company’s investment strategy includes the development of three key malls: Mall of Oman, City Centre and My City Centre Sur. In addition, Majid Al Futtaim will make investments in retail, leisure and entertainment businesses including Magic Planet, Carrefour and Vox Cinemas. These investments are anticipated to create more than 42,000 direct and indirect job opportunities in the country in the next five years.
The largest planned project is the Mall of Oman in the capital of Muscat, which is set to open in 2020. It will be the largest integrated retail, leisure and entertainment destination in the country. Similar to the company’s Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, the megamall will feature 350 outlets in more than 1.3 million square feet of retail space. Retailers including Abercrombie & Fitch will be among the offerings, as well as a 140,000-square-foot Carrefour hypermarket. The leisure offerings will include Oman’s first indoor snow-park, with an 85,000-square-foot play area and a 292-room hotel.
High-end retail space development has long been in short supply outside the capital. City Centre Sohar, set to open in 2018, will be the largest shopping and lifestyle destination in its Governorate, which has seen a lot of growth as an industrial and logistics hub. The regional mall will be home to 100 new retail outlets across 425,000 square feet. The mall will include businesses owned and managed by Majid Al Futtaim, including a 78,000-square-foot Carrefour hypermarket, Vox Cinemas and Magic Planet play area.
The first of the malls to open will be My City Centre Sur in 2017. The mall will have 175,000 square feet of retail space, making it Majid Al Futtaim’s first community mall in Oman. The My City Centre retail concept, which was launched by Majid Al Futtaim two years ago, includes a mix of lifestyle-orientated retail and service outlets aimed at serving the everyday needs of local communities. My City Centre Sur will have 50 retail outlets, a 73,000-square-foot Carrefour hypermarket, a medical clinic and a Magic Planet.