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New $100 Million Bahraini Mall Will Create Jobs

Bahrain : 07 December 2010

A $100 million shopping mall (or BD 37.8 million) will create hundreds of employment opportunities in Bahrain.

The project is being built by a consortium headed by Al Salam Bank and will have IKEA as an anchor store in the 100,000 square meter mall.  IKEA is a global giant in the low-cost fashionable home furnishings market.

The new mall will have an IKEA sized at 30,000 square meters as the anchor store, with an overall size that surpasses that of Seef Mall.

IKEA will be a major source of job creation by itself, as around 450 positions will open up with the retail outlet in 2014.

JV Partners is developing the facility, a group that includes Al-Aoun Capital Group and Siraj Capital, along with Al Salam Bank.  The consortium’s aim is the development of a first-class destination shopping mall that also meets the needs of consumers locally and regionally.

The project is split in equal stakes, with each of the three partners claiming a stake.  Equities are funding 30 percent of the project, while borrowed funds cover the remaining 70 percent.

The agreement with IKEA was recently signed by the director and CEO of Al Salam Bank Yousif Taqi and Dr. Ghassan Al Sulaiman, IKEA Saudi Arabia’s chairman.  The expansion director for IKEA Sweden, Ed de Bont, was also in attendance.

Taqi stated that the real estate developing arm of Al Salam Bank in Bahrain has launched a group of low to middle income housing projects.  He said that this JV project will service that particular market, offering affordable home furnishings that compliment the bank’s residential developments and fit in well with their strategic goals and commitment to the local community.

The project goals have been closely studied by the joint venture group.  The choice to place an affordable furnishings retail outlet as the anchor was intentional and part of an effort to serve the needs of low to middle income local families.

Dr. Al Sulaiman of IKEA Saudi Arabia was thrilled by the deal.

IKEA has had a franchise presence in the Kingdom for nearly 30 years and the chairman was more than happy to take part in the company’s regional expansion to Bahrain.

The new IKEA Bahrain will create plenty of employment and training opportunities for Bahrainis, as well as draw other large retail chains to the local market.

IKEA is a pioneer in affordable and quality-made home furnishings and this is to be the premier location in Bahrain.  IKEA both designs and retails the furniture and accessories, many of which are easily put together by the consumer.  The chain has a global presence and experience with specifications and design standards around the globe.

Founded by Invar Kamprad, who was 17 at the time, in Sweden back in 1943 IKEA has become the biggest home furnishings retailer in the world.

The company concept is now a trademark for low cost, fashionable products for the home and retail outlets are found around the globe.

There are 316 store locations found in 37 different countries covering Europe, Asia, North America and Australia.

Most of the stores are controlled by the IKEA group, who own 276 retail locations covering 25 nations, while the remaining 40 stores are operated and owned by franchisees.

IKEA has had a presence in the GCC since 1981 with outlet locations in the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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