Majid Al Futtaim
Emirati trailblazer Majid Al Futtaim was among the pantheon of pioneering industrialists who drew a revolutionary trajectory across the commercial landscape of the UAE. In doing so, he put the nation on a lofty pedestal from which there was no disembarking.
He was a colossus who rose from humble beginnings as a clerk in a bank to create a huge business empire that straddles not just across the UAE but other countries in the Middle East as well.
Al Futtaim founded Majid Al Futtaim Holding in 1992. It expanded across the Mideast with malls and other ventures.
It also runs over 300 Carrefour supermarkets and hypermarkets across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Its showpiece mall, the Mall of the Emirates, is a major attraction in Dubai and is home to the indoor ski slope.
Truly the concept of having a shopping mall laden with snow, right in the middle of a city, is nothing short of pathbreaking.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, mourned Al Futtaim’s death in a post on Twitter.
His Highness wrote on the social networking site, “May God have mercy on our brother Majid Al Futtaim, the creative businessman, and one of Dubai’s most important merchants and senior men... a man of endless goodness and giving to the nation.”
Sheikh Mohammed added, “His latest decision was to hire 3,000 citizens... may God have mercy on him, rest him in peace and inspire his family and relatives patience and solace... Amen.”
As Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum said, “Today we bid farewell to a precious Emirati stature… and a man who spent his life serving his country and his family... may God have mercy on Majid Al Futtaim…”
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs on Friday, also mourned Al Futtaim’s demise.
Sheikha Jawaher wrote on Twitter, “May Allah Almighty have mercy on the respectful generous businessman Majid Al Futtaim. May Allah rest him in peace and grant his family patience and solace.”
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum wrote on Twitter, “Our condolences to the Dubai community on the loss of Majid Al Futtaim, may God have mercy on him… a man of principle and creativity...
“The fingerprints and achievements of Majid Al Futtaim that contributed to the emirate’s growth procession will remain inspiring for future generations...
“He was an exceptional patriot, generous and loyal to his country and people. May God have mercy on the deceased and put him in peace...”
His laurels reflect his love for his nation.
His eponymous Majid Al Futtaim Group specialises in the development and management of shopping malls, integrated cities, retail and entertainment facilities in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, established in the year 1992.
Majid Al Futtaim worked to change the concept of shopping and entertainment to achieve “the happiest moments for all people, every day.”
The features of that vision have begun to be embodied through many modern and innovative shopping centres, which were opened first in the United Arab Emirates, and then expanded through 17 markets around the world, employing more than 43,000 employees.
Today, Majid Al Futtaim owns and operates 27 shopping malls, 13 hotels and four integrated city projects, in addition to many projects under construction.
He has left behind a void that will be extremely difficult to fill. His name will not only be embossed in the annals of history but it will be forever etched in the minds of those who admired him.