x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Tecom and MAF to build mall in Dubai’s International Media Production Zone

The mall is to be anchored by Carrefour hypermarket and include Magic Planet play area, along with Vox cinema.

The new Majid Al Futtaim mall at Dubai International Media Production Zone will be anchored by a Carrefour store. Sarah Dea / The National
The new Majid Al Futtaim mall at Dubai International Media Production Zone will be anchored by a Carrefour store. Sarah Dea / The National

Tecom Investments, the Dubai business parks firm, has clinched a deal with the retailing and property conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) to build a new 1 million square foot mall in the south of the emirate.

The mall will be part of MAF’s “community centres” initiative, and will be anchored by a Carrefour hypermarket, a Magic Planet children’s play area and a Vox cinema, as well as premium retailing facilities.

It will be located in Tecom’s International Media Production Zone (IMPZ) between the city proper and the new Dubai World Central Airport, and represents a new phase of Dubai’s southward expansion.

The first phase, a 300,000 sq ft development, will cost Dh275 million including the purchase price of the land and is marked for completion next year. It will be MAF’s fourth mall in Dubai.

George Kostas, the chief executive of MAF Properties, said the project was “in line with the Dubai government’s plans for Expo 2020 and the leadership’s vision to attract more than 20 million tourists. Footfall and sales at our shopping malls in Dubai continue to grow steadily, and we believe there is strong demand for our integrated shopping experience in local communities such as IMPZ”.

Amina Al Rostamani, the group chief executive of Tecom Investments, which is wholly owned by the Dubai Holding conglomerate, said: “This is in line with our vision to create vibrant communities across Dubai. As Tecom’s business parks are focused on the successful development of knowledge industries, we must create fully sustainable communities, with complete offerings like commercial, industrial, retail, hospitality and residential.”

She said that there had been a “long debate” at Tecom over what to do with its valuable land bank in places such as the IMPZ, “but I am glad we decided to keep it. We need to provide other services in free zones like Dubai Media City and Internet City”.

She added: “We are keen to continue to work closely with pioneer developers such as MAF to ensure that our business parts and wider offerings are balanced, sustainable and offer growth potential for all stakeholders.”

IMPZ is part of Tecom’s media cluster, aimed at accommodating companies in publishing, printing and packaging. It occupies a 43 million sq ft mixed-use site, with tenants including Sony, Xerox and Damac.

Mr Kostas explained that the mall is strategically situated in the growth corridor of Dubai, near the intersection of Al Khail Road and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, two of the emirate’s major highways.

Phase one will serve three growing residential areas – Victory Heights, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Jumeirah Village – and other nearby communities such as Motor City, Sports City and Arabian Ranches.

“This shows that, contrary to recent press reports, there is still strong demand for retail in Dubai. There is a high percentage of affluent customers in that area,” Mr Kostas added.

The deal with Tecom is the first step in a Dh3 billion investment programme MAF announced last year as part of the emirate’s gearing up in preparation for Expo 2020.

fkane@thenational.ae

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