The ever changing social, political and economic climate in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has fueled the rapid rate of urbanization in the region. For the past 50 years, the Middle East has recorded the fastest growing urban population in the world. As of 2016, more than 70% of people in the Middle East lived in urban areas, which is on par with Europe. The GCC was reported as one of the most urbanised parts of the world, with its population living in cities expected to rise to 90% by 2050. Cairo – the MENA region’s largest city – is the 10th largest city in the world with a population of 20 million people.
With such a diverse urban population, infrastructure is one of the key factors for economic development. For more than 40 years, Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate (AFGRE) has been developing and managing owned landbanks, unlocking the economic potential of the region and contributing to future development. The real estate arm of Al-Futtaim Group, AFGRE is responsible for a multi-billion-dollar portfolio across MENA. With high-quality residential, business, retail, tourism, educational and healthcare developments, the master developer caters to the diverse needs of cities and communities in the region.
AFGRE’s parent company, Al-Futtaim Group, was established in the Dubai in the 1930s as a trading business. Today the group is one of the most progressive regional family businesses, spread across 29 countries, with more than 200 companies in its portfolio, spanning six key sectors: Automotive, Retail, Construction, Healthcare, Finance and Real Estate.
Al-Futtaim Group’s commitment to integrity, service and social responsibility has been the foundation to building its reputation in the field of real estate development and operations. Over four decades, AFGRE has created and managed developments that positively impact cities and communities and continue to contribute to the parent company’s global footprint.
AFGRE is responsible for Master planning of all projects in its portfolio, under four business units: Mixed-use that includes two destinations: Dubai Festival City and Cairo Festival City; Malls that includes four malls: Dubai Festival City Mall, Festival Plaza and Cairo Festival City Mall; Al-Futtaim Real Estate with several leasing projects across Dubai; and Al-Futtaim Engineering and Technologies, offering customers complete engineering and systems integration solutions.
The Engineering arm operates in the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt and provides a wide variety of products and services for the construction industry from air conditioning, scaffolding and access solutions, elevators and escalators, control and life safety, facilities management, building products, MEP, Technology Infrastructure and Digital transformation.
The Technologies division provides complete business solutions to large, medium and small customers that include networking solutions, IP telephony, infrastructure, contact centre solutions, business applications, ELV systems, professional audio-visual solutions and managed services. These solutions are further complemented by services that include project management, installation, testing, commissioning and after-sales maintenance contracts.
The Mixed-use unit of AFGRE has built a strong brand in its ‘Festival City’ offering. Dubai Festival City and Cairo Festival City offer end-to-end capabilities that are rooted in quality and innovation. Combining residential, commercial, retail and entertainment to create a city within a city, the two destinations personify AFGRE’s commitment to creating environments that enable communities and businesses to thrive.
Dubai Festival City
AFGRE’s first mixed-use destination opened in Dubai in 2006, alongside a 3.3 km creek. Dubai Festival City was carefully planned to offer a superior lifestyle destination with outstanding facilities, comprising residential (Marsa Plaza, Al Badia Residences and Al Badia Hillside), commercial (Festival Tower), educational(Universal American School and Deira International School), and family-friendly sports and social (Al Areesh Club) destinations.
A one-stop destination for living, shopping, dining and entertainment, Dubai Festival City is designed to capture the cosmopolitan and rich spirit of Dubai. Three five-star hotels – the Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Intercontinental Residences and Suites – sit within the destination. Festival Arena by Intercontinental and 14 restaurants and bars provide almost 10,000 sqm of diverse event spaces.
At the heart of Dubai Festival City is the landmark 2.5million sq.ft urban retail destination, Dubai Festival City Mall – home to well-loved shopping destinations IKEA and ACE as well as the only Hard Rock Café in the Middle East. The mall also houses over 400 world class retailers, 50 restaurants – many of which feature waterfront dining on Festival Bay and some of Dubai’s most photographed sunset vistas.
The entertainment offering of Dubai Festival City includes 7-star 18-Screen Novo Cinemas with 4D IMAX, and Fabyland, a 70,000 sq. ft. family entertainment centre. The newest entertainment attraction is two-time Guinness records holder IMAGINE, the world’s largest water projection extravaganza that plays live every night for all visitors.
Through a winning combination of daily attractions and luxurious experiences, Dubai Festival City is an exceptional destination that has set the benchmark in real estate development and reinforces Dubai’s position as a global hub for business, education, tourism, leisure and entertainment.
Cairo Festival City
The second in AFGRE’s portfolio of mixed-use destinations, Cairo Festival City upholds the ‘Festival City’ brand image of exceptional lifestyle experiences that enrich lives. Egypt’s premier mixed-use development, Cairo Festival City introduces the ultimate standards in residential, retail, leisure, entertainment and dining in an eco-friendly ‘city within a city’. The destination spans more than three million square meters at the gateway to New Cairo offering spectacular villas and apartments, a premier indoor-outdoor shopping, a club that combines the best of sports and luxury hospitality, together with an internationally renowned hotel, international schools and automotive showrooms all set within a beautifully landscaped and tranquil community.
CFC Club is the ideal place to get away from the everyday hustle bustle, where members come together to socialize, relax, play, dine and work. The Club is spanned on an area of 62,149 sqm that sits at the Northern side of Cairo Festival City. The sports side of the club comprises multiple courts, such as tennis ball, handball, basketball and football, in addition to a Sports Hall that contains a gym, a spa and indoor heated pool that complements the swimming sport separately from the Relax Pool and Family’s Pool.
The club caters primarily to Cairo Festival City residents and tenant, and planned to attract additional external memberships within the geographic primary trade area by attracting high end calibers and their families. A plethora of options in unrivalled quality and premier facilities in one convenient location, make Cairo Festival City a visionary urban destination.
AFGRE’s Malls business unit comprises several malls catering to the needs of communities and cities across the region. Dubai Festival City Mall and Festival Plaza in Dubai, and Cairo Festival City Mall, are a testament to AFGRE’s commitment to deliver developments that will be at the heart of the region’s continued economic growth and diversification.
Al-Futtaim Real Estate and Al-Futtaim Engineering and Technology business units strengthen AFGRE’s capacity to deliver across the value chain including Design, Development, Procurement, Project Management, Infrastructure Management, contracting and MEP, Operations, Marketing, Sales and Asset Management.
Cities are the lifeblood of an economy. With the growing urban populations in the Middle East, the region’s key cities are increasingly gaining importance in the overall performance of the economies of their countries. AFGRE continues to leverage its experience in building world-class developments to support the long-term goals of cities and countries in the region.