The investment will fund 12 brand new cinemas across the MENA region
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa, today announced an investment of over 750 million AED through the cinema arm of Majid Al Futtaim - Ventures, VOX Cinemas.
This substantial investment will transform the cinema landscape across the region following approval this week for an additional five new locations, increasing the company's new development pipeline to twelve cinemas across the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain & Egypt. VOX Cinemas plans to progressively roll out the new projects from June 2014.
Upon completion of this approved expansion plan VOX Cinemas will operate over 250 screens across the MENA region, an increase of 400% in under 4 years since Majid Al Futtaim took full control of the cinema company.
The expansion will commence with the opening of Oman's largest two cinemas in Muscat City Centre and Qurum City Centre in June of this year. In November 2014 Abu Dhabi's largest cinema complex, in Aldar's Yas Island Mall, will open with 20 screens, including VOX MAX, VOX GOLD and VOX 4DX viewing options. An extension to Majid Al Futtaim's Sharjah City Centre beginning this summer will include a new VOX Cinemas which will become the largest cinema in the Emirate. The company also recently announced that they would develop the largest cinema in Qatar in Doha Festival City, and new locations are planned in the Shindagha area of Dubai and in the Burjuman Centre.
Ahmed Galal Ismail, CEO at Majid Al Futtaim – Ventures said: "Our investment in cinemas is expanding exponentially across the region. Whilst VOX Cinemas will always be an important anchor to Majid Al Futtaim's expanding mall portfolio, we are pleased that VOX Cinemas is also providing attractive international grade cinemas with several other leading developers in the region."
"Middle Eastern box offices have enjoyed double digit annual growth in recent years, owing in many cases to the expanding network of cinemas that have been developed across the Middle East. Our investment in cinema in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Egypt will see these expanding territories also enjoy modern and innovative cinemas that exceed international standards," added Mr Ismail.
In addition to the new locations, included in the investment strategy is the renovation and relocation of all existing properties, most notably VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates.
Mr Ismail said: "We have commenced construction of a new 24 screen cinema in Majid Al Futtaim's Mall Of The Emirates, which we are confident will set new standards for cinema exhibition across the world. To ensure that we create a cinema worthy of such a premium mall location, the company will construct a new 100,000 square foot entertainment destination that will include all of the latest international cinema technologies."
Cameron Mitchell, CEO - VOX Cinemas said: "The new VOX Cinemas, Mall Of The Emirates, will become a new barometer for cinema design, and will be yet another internationally recognised achievement for Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates."
"Our expanding list of exclusive points of difference such as our VOX GOLD premium VIP cinema concept, our big screen VOX MAX concept, and more recently the introduction of our new VOX 4DX cinema concept which VOX holds the exclusive rights to in the Middle East, are all attractive selling points in malls across the region. Whilst guests will always be able to enjoy traditional cinema experiences, offering different and newer more innovative premium cinema concepts, allows our guests to choose on any visit, how they wish to customise each cinema experience. The fact that we will be able to offer these choices in some fantastic new locations bolsters our continuing commitment to providing premium cinema-going experiences across the MENA Region," added Mr Mitchell.