Majid Al Futtaim, Owner of an Emirati Mall and Supermarket, Dies

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Majid Al Futtaim, the Emirati billionaire, known for developing an indoor ski slope in the Dubai Mall, died on Friday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He rose to prominence as a bank clerk and eventually created the eponymous business empire. The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced Al Futtaim's death on Twitter and paid tribute to him as one of the kingdom's "most important merchants." HH wrote, "May God have mercy on him and place him in his spacious gardens."

It remains unknown what caused his death since it has not been released yet. There is no information regarding his age, either. Nevertheless, prayers for him and his family have recently floated around social media. In addition to acknowledging his death online, Majid Al Futtaim’s business empire did not respond to requests from The Associated Press. As the company noted on Twitter, “Majid Al Futtaim was a visionary entrepreneur whose lifetime achievements have inspired many.” In addition, “Our hearts and prayers go out to Mr Majid’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

During the 1930s, when Dubai was still a pearling village, the Al Futtaim family’s business empire began. Majid Al Futtaim’s kingdom expanded tremendously throughout its history. Initially, they were a trading company owned by Al Maktoum, the ruling family of the city-state. As the years passed, the company became a trusted partner for foreign brands seeking business, including Toyota, in 1955. Many automotive manufacturers and retailers followed.

In the early 2000s, however, a bitter family feud between Majid Al Futtaim and his cousin, businesses forced Sheikh Mohammed to intervene. The company headed by Abdullah eventually acquired the car businesses and some retail brands. Following the split, Majid founded Majid Al Futtaim Holding in 1992. Eventually, he became a retail powerhouse in the Middle East and beyond after working at the Bank of Oman, later known as Mashreq Bank.

MAF signed a franchise agreement with the French hypermarket chain Carrefour. Africa, Asia, and the Middle East operate nearly 300 supermarkets and hypermarkets under the Carrefour brand. According to Alexandre Bompard, Carrefour Group's chairman and CEO, Al Futtaim's passing was "unfortunate news" for the grocery giant since he had been an "exceptional partner." On Twitter, he wrote, "We will pursue our vision of trade together."

At City Center Deira, Al Futtaim built one of the city's first major shopping destinations. As a result of his firm's expansion, Dubai is a significant destination place today. The Mall of the Emirates, the centrepiece mall of Al Futtaim, is a major attraction in Dubai with an indoor ski slope. The company has also invested in hotels and movie theatres. Al Futtaim has a net worth of over $4 billion according to Forbes and over $6 billion according to Bloomberg.