x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Emirates retail giant rings up strong profits

Profits at Majid Al Futtaim Holding soared last year after income from malls and hotels increased 21 per cent as an influx of tourists visited the UAE in the wake of the Arab Spring. 

Shoppers walk through the Deira City Centre shopping mall in Dubai, on of the malls which has helped Majid Al Futtaim ring up strong profits. Amy Leang/The National
Shoppers walk through the Deira City Centre shopping mall in Dubai, on of the malls which has helped Majid Al Futtaim ring up strong profits. Amy Leang/The National

Profits at Majid Al Futtaim Holding soared last year after income from malls and hotels increased 21 per cent as an influx of tourists visited the UAE in the wake of the Arab Spring.

MAF, which operates Carrefour stores and major retail and hotel developments such as Mall of the Emirates, increased operating profit by 18 per cent to Dh2.7 billion. Revenues increased 10 per cent to Dh18.7 billion.

"2011 was another outstanding year for us," said Iyad Malas, chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim Holding. "In particular, strong performance in Dubai helped to offset any softness resulting from regional turmoil."

MAF Properties, a division of the group, runs and is expanding hotels, malls and mixed-use developments across much of the Middle East and North Africa, but the majority of its business is still in the UAE.

It owns five malls in the Emirates, including Mirdiff City Centre and Deira City Centre, as well as nine hotels.

Revenues from hotels and malls increased by 21 per cent to Dh2.8bn and profits by 19 per cent to Dh1.7 billion, contributing about 62 per cent of the group's total profits.

Dubai's malls and hotels benefitted from a flood of tourists last year from around the wider Middle East and North Africa region that would have otherwise visited locations affected by civil and political unrest.

MAF's 10 malls in the UAE, Egypt, Oman and Bahrain, hosted 130 million visitors last year.