Plans for the Mall of Egypt, which is to be built in the suburbs of Cairo, had been put on hold in early 2011 due to the unrest that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
When completed it will be one of the largest malls in North Africa, offering 380 shops, a 17-screen cinema complex and an amusement park. One of the main attractions of the mall will be an indoor ski slope, similar to the Ski Dubai component in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, another MAF development.
MAF revealed that it has awarded a $400m construction project for the mall to a 50/50 joint venture between Orascom Construction and the BESIX Group. The developer said the total investment in the project will reach EGP 4.9 billion ($800m), with construction slated to begin by the end of this year.
The project is expected to employ 9,000 people during the construction phase and 7,000 once the mall has opened. MAF is targeting a June 2015 date for completion.
Peter Walichnowski, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Properties, said: “Egypt’s strong economic fundamentals, such as its young and growing population, make it an attractive growth market. We are committed to building on our success in Egypt and investing in the country’s long-term economic growth.”
OCI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nassef Sawiris, said the mall represents the largest foreign investment in Egypt since the election of the new government. “We have been very impressed by the efficient manner in which the new leadership reviewed required regulatory approvals for this project and we look forward to continuing to work together. The Mall of Egypt development marks an important milestone in Egypt’s economic recovery and signals a resurgence of private foreign investment in the country,” he added.
MAF said its direct investments in Egypt amount to EGP 2.5 billion ($410m) to date. The company opened its first mall in Egypt, Maadi City Centre, in 2002. The company then opened Alexandria City Centre in 2003.
In addition to the Mall of the Emirates, MAF owns Deira City Centre and Mirdif City Centre in Dubai.
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