Dubai-Based Real Estate Major Looks To India

Dubai-based real estate major Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) is likely to enter India for which it is in the process of identifying a local partner.

The country’s estimated 16 billion dollar realty sector, which has already attracted UAE-based players like Emmar, Limitless, Nakheel and SmartCity, has been identified by MAF as a ‘market to be in’.

The company is looking to tie up with a local player to build shopping malls, residential properties and other commercial spaces.

Majid Al Futtaim VP Business Development Younis Al Mulla told, “We are studying the Indian market and soon we are going to have a place in the country. India is the company’s target and we need to set up operations in the next one or two years,”

He said a team of senior company officials visited India in the month of March to evaluate various options and held talks with companies here.

“We are visiting India again in June to organise roadshows in major cities, including Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and also Goa,” he added.

Asked about the investments planned for India, Al Mulla said, “We do not know it yet as nothing has been finalised. We have not decided on that.” MAF also operates hypermarkets, in joint venture with the world’s second largest retailer Carrefour, in the Middle East, North Africa, Iran, Pakistan and other markets.

The company’s announcement comes at a time when, even Carrefour is likely to finalise its plan for India and announce its partnership with an Indian company. Indian real estate industry is currently pegged at about 16 billion US dollar and is estimated to post annual growth rate of 30 per cent to reach 60 billion dollar by 2010. The sector witnessed increased interest from several international developers, primarily from the Middle-East, South-East Asia and Europe.

MAF operates in spaces like real estate, retail, management of proprietary funds and has joint venture with some international companies to complement the existing businesses of the Group.

The primary focus for the MAF Properties is the development of shopping malls, hotels and mixed-use communities projects. The company operates seven shopping malls with a total retail area of 500,000 sqm in UAE, Egypt and Oman.

While, MAF Retail manages Majid Al Futtaim Hypermarkets, a joint venture company with the world’s second largest retailer Carrefour.

There are currently 26 hypermarkets in the Middle East. The Carrefour brand has expanded across the UAE and into Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait.


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