Muscat – MENA Herald: Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa region, today announced it will increase its investment in Oman by OMR 515 million by 2020, reaffirming its long-standing commitment to the Sultanate. The company’s investment strategy includes Mall of Oman (estimated OMR 275 million), City Centre Sohar (estimated OMR 45 million), My City Centre Sur (estimated OMR 15 million), and additional investments from its retail, leisure and entertainment businesses (estimated OMR 180 million) including Magic Planet, Carrefour and VOX Cinemas. Majid Al Futtaim’s investments are anticipated to create more than 42,000 direct and indirect job opportunities in the Sultanate in the next five years.

When it opens in 2020, Mall of Oman will be the largest integrated retail, leisure and entertainment destination in the Sultanate. The super-regional mall will feature 350 outlets in a 137,000 sqm retail space. It will feature ‘firsts’ including Oman’s largest snow-park, with an 8,000 sqm play area, and a Little Explorers edu-tainment centre. It will also include the Sultanate’s first Abercrombie & Fitch and largest VOX Cinemas and Magic Planet, the leading family entertainment centre in the region, as well as a 13,200 sqm Carrefour hypermarket and 292 room hotel, completing its integrated offer. It is estimated that Mall of Oman’s development will generate 29,000 direct and indirect job opportunities.

City Centre Sohar, set to open in 2018, will be the largest shopping and lifestyle destination in its Governorate. The regional mall will be home to 100 new retail outlets across 40,000 sqm. These will include businesses owned and managed by Majid Al Futtaim, such as a 7,400 sqm Carrefour hypermarket, and entertainment options including VOX Cinemas and Magic Planet. The mall will create an estimated 8,000 employment opportunities in Oman.

My City Centre Sur, which will open in 2017, will be Majid Al Futtaim’s first community mall in Oman. The My City Centre retail concept, which was launched by Majid Al Futtaim two years ago, features a tailored mix of lifestyle-orientated retail and service outlets aimed at serving the everyday needs of local communities. My City Centre Sur will include 16,500 sqm of retail space, comprising 50 outlets, a 6,850 sqm Carrefour hypermarket, Oman’s first City Centre Clinic and a Magic Planet. The project will create more than 3,500 direct and indirect job opportunities.

“We have always been pioneering in the Omani market. We are proud to renew our commitment to be the leading GCC investor in the Sultanate through our OMR 705 million investments, which include the development of Mall of Oman, City Centre Sohar, and My City Centre Sur, as well as additional investments from our retail, leisure and entertainment businesses. We look forward to completing our projects and seeing them deliver more great moments for everyone, everyday,” said Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim – Holding.

Majid Al Futtaim is also expanding its existing City Centre Qurum shopping mall in Muscat. The revamp will see the introduction of Centrepoint, the multi-brand retail concept, as well as additional car parking spaces. Furthermore, the company is developing the next phase of Al Mouj Muscat, an oceanfront mixed-use destination, and expanding its VOX Cinemas and Carrefour hypermarkets to new locations across the Sultanate.

The continued investment in Oman’s retail and leisure infrastructure by Majid Al Futtaim supports the country’s National Strategy for Tourism 2040, which targets a 6 per cent rise in the contribution of the tourism sector to the GDP and a near doubling of visitor numbers to five million annually. The plans build on the company’s existing developments in Oman including City Centre Muscat, which received a OMR 35 million expansion in 2015, City Centre Qurum, which opened in 2008, and Al Mouj Muscat. Together, since 2001, these three existing developments have seen Majid Al Futtaim invest more than OMR 190 million and generate more than 23,000 jobs in their construction and operation.