Dubai mall plans $273m expansion

Updated 10 September 2013
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Dubai mall plans $273m expansion

DUBAI: Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) will spend about one billion dirhams ($272.3 million) expanding one of the emirate's largest malls, which houses an indoor ski slope, in a further sign of a revival in its retail and tourism market.
Dubai is seen as a safe haven amid regional unrest that began with the Arab Spring in 2010, helping the emirate attract more visitors to its luxury shopping malls.
Dubai attracted 5.5 million tourists in the first half of 2013, a 11.1 percent increase on the year, the emirate's tourism department said in July. Its airport aims to overtake London's Heathrow as the world's biggest airport by passengers by 2020.
Mall of the Emirates will be redeveloped to include a new fashion district, luxury retail, and sports and leisure precinct, MAF, the operators of Carrefour stores in the Middle East, said in a statement.
The mall is one of the key attractions in Dubai as it houses the only indoor ski resort in the region.
It was the largest indoor ski park in the world when it was launched in 2005 and was promoted as an attraction for tourists and residents during the hot summer months in the Gulf state.
Phase one of the expansion has already begun, which is a new 100-million-dirham district dedicated to contemporary fashion, the statement said.
The mall was last expanded in 2010 to include more fashion outlets.
MAF has been on an aggressive expansion drive and bought the remaining 25 percent from Carrefour in its a Middle East joint venture in May.
The company plans to raise a $1.5 billion loan to refinance its debt, sources said last week.
Earlier this year Dubai Mall, the world largest mall owned by property developer Emaar Properties, announced plans to expand the mall by another 1 million square feet in the first phase.


Egypt stock market plunges as retail investors take flight

Updated 19 September 2018
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Egypt stock market plunges as retail investors take flight

  • Biggest index drop in Egypt since mid-2016
  • Saudi Arabia outperforms in Gulf

LONDON: Egyptian stocks tumbled to their lowest level this year on Wednesday as retail investors took flight.
A sharp rise in Suez Canal revenues, a major foreign exchange earner for the country, was not enough to quell investors concerns about the strength of the currency.
The main Egyptian stock index lost 3.8 percent which some fund managers blamed on generally negative sentiment toward emerging markets worldwide as well as more local speculation about possible currency devaluation.
“Our channel checks suggest the sell-off in the Egyptian market is local retail and institutions driven, on currency fears and speculation over a further round of devaluation,” said Vrajesh Bhandari, portfolio manager at Al Mal in Dubai, Reuters reported.
“Selling is further intensified as margin calls are triggered and technical support levels break down. The country canceled three consecutive Treasury auctions, citing investors’ unrealistic yield demands.”
Egypt’s Suez Canal revenues rose to $502.2 million in August up 6.7 percent from a year earlier according to official data released on Wednesday.
Elsewhere regional stock markets closed mostly lower with the exceptions of Abu Dhabi which edged 0.2 percent higher and Saudi Arabia, the best regional performer, which rose by 1.1 percent.
Saudi stocks are benefiting from the strong oil price which eased slightly yesterday but still hovered just under $79.
OPEC and some other oil producers including Russia will meet in Algeria on Sept. 23 to discuss how to allocate supply increases within their quota framework to offset the loss of oil exports from Iran following the introduction of sanctions by the US.
Those measures will come into force on Nov. 4 and data suggests that buyers are already retreating from Iranian crude purchases.
A key question for the oil price as well as regional stock markets in the weeks ahead will be the extent to which other Gulf oil exporters can compenaste for the loss of Iranian supplies by pumping more.