Mall of Saudi project set for completion in early 2026: Majid Al Futtaim CEO

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Updated 26 October 2022

Mall of Saudi project set for completion in early 2026: Majid Al Futtaim CEO

Mall of Saudi project set for completion in early 2026: Majid Al Futtaim CEO

RIYADH: A SR16 billion ($4.3 billion) mega shopping mall, complete with the world’s largest indoor ski slope, is on track to be opened in Riyadh by early 2026, according to the CEO of the Majid Al Futtaim diversified conglomerate.

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Oct. 25, Alain Bejjani gave Arab News more details around the retail giant's Mall of Saudi project.

He said: “We are done with the enabling works and now we're moving to the next phase. The mall requires 48 months of construction, and that should be over by the end of 2025 or early 2026.”

The Mall of Saudi, which was announced at last year's FII forum, will include six hotels and around 1,600 residential units in an integrated community. As well as the indoor ski slope, it will also host the biggest snow dome in the world.

MAF group, which also operates cinemas, supermarkets and hotels, was seriously affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, when many of its businesses were forced to close temporarily.

Beijani believes that economic policies implemented in the region during the pandemic have been of benefit to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

"The fiscal discipline that has been instituted during COVID times has actually played quite well, too, for Saudi Arabia, and the UAE as well as the region globally, in addition to old revenues that came back," he said.

Regarding the state of MAF’s post pandemic recovery, Bejani said that footfall in malls is returning “very strongly,” but also sales are outpacing that in terms of growth.

“Futtaim is doing well, and continues to do so in 2022 results so far. It's a very good year, and we think this will continue entering into 2023. From this position, I will say of strength, there are challenges and we'll have to deal with them. We are present in 18 markets in 12 different business activities. So naturally, we'll always have to deal with some issues. It's very important that Egypt succeeds in exiting the rough patch that it is going through finally, currently,” he said.

Beijani said that the UAE and Saudi Arabia are known economies and continue on a path towards growth and recovery, actually outpacing other markets around the world.

"Saudi Arabia is a core market for us and we want to turn it into a home market for us. We deeply believe in the potential of the Saudi market," he added.

Bejjani has been at the helm of MAF since 2015, consolidating the group’s position as one of the leading retail, hospitality and leisure groups in the Middle East. MAF is well known by consumers throughout the region for its Carrefour supermarkets, its gigantic shopping malls and its Vox Cinemas chain.