Al-Futtaim raises $500m ME property fund

The Dubai based investor’s new fund will have a flagship $9 billion project called Festival City in Cairo.

Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Group has raised $500 million for a new Middle East-focused property fund.

Al-Futtaim Capital, a unit of the Al-Futtaim Group, has received capital commitments for the fund from institutional and individual investors in Asia and the Gulf, the firm's managing director Marwan Shehadeh told reporters in Dubai on Monday. He added that some of those investors were sovereign funds, but declined to mention any by name. One third of the fund complies with Shariah requirements for no interest.

Shehadeh told reporters that the firm has plans for developments in Doha and Abu Dhabi, as well as in Saudi Arabia, Tripoli and Casablanca.

The Al-Futtaim Group is a large family-owned investment company that has invested in a range of businesses including automakers and financial services.

The firm also unveiled on Monday its plans for the fund’s first major investment, Cairo Festival City, a mixed-use three million square metre development in the Egyptian Capital.

The $9 billion development is located at the gateway to New Cairo City, 20 kilometres southeast of greater Cairo and 15 minutes from Cairo's International Airport. Festival Centre, which will be at the center of the city, will be Egypt's first indoor/outdoor shopping and entertainment destination.

The center will be made up of a 140,000-square-meter enclosed three-level shopping center housing 250 international and regional retail brands. The Cairo development will be modelled after Al-Futtaim’s flagship project, the waterfront mixed use development at Dubai Festival City.