Abu Dhabi’s Makani Real Estate plans to buy and build new malls in expansion push

September 26, 2023

Makani Real Estate, which is owned by Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society, is aiming to acquire and build new malls and community centres in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain as part of its expansion plans, its chief executive has said.

The company currently owns malls and community centres worth Dh1.5 billion ($408 million) in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi. It is also building a new community centre with space for retail stores and restaurants in the Khalidiya area of Abu Dhabi that is set to open in the fourth quarter of this year.

“Our vision is to expand the retail presence of our business, to design a customer-centric experience for our shoppers and community,” chief executive Ashba Al Ghfeli told The National in an interview. “In addition to this, (we aim) to maintain and enhance and grow the asset value.”

The company plans to build two more malls in Shakhbout City and Mohammed bin Zayed City in Abu Dhabi in the next two years with 10,000 to 11,000 square metres of gross leasable area at each of them.

It is also working on “a big redevelopment plan,” for existing malls including Makani Zakher, Al Ain Mall and Shamkha Mall as well as two other small community centres. It acquired Makani Zakher and Al Ain Mall for Dh1.03 billion last year.

“So we are working on both developing the new and re-enhancing the old assets to reach the expectations of our clients,” Ms Al Ghfeli said.

The company aims to finance new projects through a mix of debt and equity.

“Sometimes we do funding through the bank, sometimes we build [with] project cash,” she added. “It depends on the size of the project, it depends on our strategy.”