Hotelier Middle East is reporting that the Al-Futtaim Group has entered into a joint venture with local partners to develop what is expected to be Saudi Arabia’s largest shopping mall. Once completed, the Riyadh attraction will include a 500-room luxury hotel.
The Dubai-based conglomerate has signed a memorandum of understanding with Kayannat Real Estate Company to create Al Diriyah Festival City. Covering 250,000 square metres of gross leasable area and located to the west of Riyadh, the SAR6 billion (US $1.6 billion) project may be completed in as little as 12 months.
Beyond the hotel, the facility will have serviced apartments. Al-Futtaim said the development has already obtained all necessary building permits to move into construction.
Under the agreement, Al-Futtaim will manage all matters related to the Al Diriyah Festival City project providing investment and development management services to construct, develop, lease and operate the mall.
Al-Futtaim currently operates its flagship Dubai Festival City Mall in the UAE and is either already operating or developing a number of other large malls across the Middle East.