Dubai-based shopping mall developer Majid Al Futtaim has put plans for its estimated SR6 billion ($1.6 billion) Mall of Saudi project in Riyadh on hold.
In October, the-then CEO, Alain Bejjani, said that mall was on track to be opened in Riyadh by early 2026.
This Majid Al Futtaim’s decision comes at a time of drastic changes following the death of its founder in December 2021. Further change came in January this year when Ahmed Galal Ismail replaced Alain Bejjani as CEO.
The project had been moving towards construction. Majid Al Futtaim selected a joint venture of the local El-Seif engineering contracting company and Dubai-based Alec for pre-construction work on the project in the middle of last year.
The Mall of Saudi project was hoped to be one of the region’s largest malls, housing more than 600 stores with a gross leasable area of 300,000 square metres.
The mall was originally planned to include the largest ski slope and snow park in the Middle East, but these plans were later changed.
The planned retail centre is the key component of the estimated $4.3 billion Riyadh North master-planned development, which includes nine hotels and branded residences with 2,000 keys.
In November 2022, Saudi Entertainment Ventures awarded Lebanon’s Consolidated Contractors Company an estimated $650 million contract to build the Exit 15 entertainment complex, which includes retail, entertainment, an indoor water park, a snow park and a ski slope.
Majid Al Futtaim declined to comment on the Mall of Saudi being put on hold.
In October, speaking at the Future Investment Initiative, Mr Bejjani told Arab News: “We are done with the enabling works and now we’re moving to the next phase. The mall requires 48 months of construction, and that should be over by the end of 2025 or early 2026.”