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VENTURES AFRICA – Iyad Malas, chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), a UAE-based retail and leisure firm, says its plans to grow its business in Egypt, with “two or three projects” primed for takeoff soon.
MAF, known for constructing an indoor ski slope in Dubai, has ramped up plans to double its Middle Eastern business within the next five years by announcing a $1 billion yearly investment budget.
“Over next few years we are very likely to be investing [a] billion dollars a year. However, this very much depends on finding the right land in the right location and for the right price,” Iyad Malas told Reuters.
Though over 70 percent of its concerns are clustered around the UAE, the mall builder is keen on expanding its foreign business portfolio, particularly in Egypt.
MAF is currently constructing a $600 million mall in Egypt expected to be completed in 2016.
In November, talks to acquire Egypt’s biggest retail chain Metro, for an estimated $300 million reportedly broke down. MAF however decided against squashing growth plans, opting rather to groom its business independently.
When quizzed on the possibility of attempting another buyout, the CEO said: “There aren’t too many other opportunities [for an acquisition] in Egypt… we will continue to grow organically.”