• The MOU aims to launch a pilot program powered by Yandex in 2022 to serve Carrefour customers
  • For the first time in the region, Carrefour customers will receive their groceries via self-driving robots 

Dubai, UAE : Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail, and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, has announced its collaboration with Yandex, one of the largest IT companies in Europe, and the co-winner of Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport, to explore autonomous technology solutions to enhance Carrefour’s last mile delivery capabilities. The partnership will enable Carrefour to be the first omnichannel retailer to use self-driving robots for orders delivery in the region.

Responding to the high demand for online orders, Carrefour customers in selected neighborhoods across the UAE could receive their online orders via Yandex autonomous delivery robots as part of the pilot program, which is set to launch in early 2022. The joint project will introduce innovative robotic delivery for Carrefour customers, while other benefits will include lower emissions.

The signing ceremony was held at the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport 2021 on 27 October, and was attended by His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA); Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim Retail; and Artem Fokin, Head of Business Development at Yandex Self-Driving Group.

The partnership reimagines the integration of robots into daily life. Powered by Yandex autonomous vehicle technology, company’s delivery robots can efficiently plan the safest route in real time, detect approaching vehicles and pedestrians, and travel at speeds of up to 8 km/h on sidewalks or other pedestrian areas. As the Yandex self-driving robots begin navigating the streets, customers will be able to track its movement in real time on the MAF Carrefour App.

Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim Retail, said: “As a leading retailer, driving the retail industry into the future is our responsibility. Together with Yandex, and the ongoing support of the RTA, we are excited to explore this innovative new last mile solution to offer our customers greater flexibility, convenience and speed with their online orders. What was once considered science fiction, we are delighted that the wheels are in motion for Carrefour to start delivering orders via self-driving, fully automated robots.” 

Dmitry Polishchuk, CEO of Yandex Self-Driving Group, said: "The demand for automated last-mile delivery continues to grow across the world. Not only businesses, but also cities and even whole states have now taken an interest in this technology. Autonomous delivery has the potential to improve the life for people in cities, while helping companies optimize their logistics and cut down the costs. Yandex robots have already delivered tens of thousands of orders in the USA and Russia. We appreciate the support from RTA and together with Majid Al Futtaim we will explore the opportunities to bring the advantages of robotic delivery to Dubai’s daily life."

This marks yet another contribution to the UAE’s fourth industrial revolution by Majid Al Futtaim as it expands its digital and data capabilities. The leading retailer has launched several technologically advanced initiatives in 2021 including opening its Carrefour Automated-Fulfilment Centre (a robotised storage picking facility that prepares orders within minutes) and introducing Carrefour City+ (the region’s first check-out-free store powered by artificial intelligence). Both exist as prime examples of how robotics and automated technology can tangibly improve efficiency and elevate the customer experience.


Media Contact: 
Alexandra Richards – Memac Ogilvy  
E: alexandra.richards@ogilvy.com   
Raed Matarbazi – Communications Manager 
Carrefour UAE 
E: RMatarbazi@mafcarrefour.com    

About Carrefour

Carrefour was launched in the region in 1995 by UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim, which is the exclusive franchisee to operate Carrefour in over 30 countries across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and fully owns the operations in the region. Today, Majid Al Futtaim operates over 375 Carrefour stores in 17 countries, serving more than 750,000 customers daily and employing over 37,000 colleagues.

Carrefour operates different store formats, as well as multiple online offerings to meet the growing needs of its diversified customer base. In line with the brand’s commitment to provide the widest range of quality products and value for money, Carrefour offers an unrivalled choice of more than 500,000 food and non-food products, and a locally inspired exemplary customer experience to create great moments for everyone every day. Across Carrefour’s stores, Majid Al Futtaim sources over 80% of the products offered from the region, making it a key enabler in supporting local producers, suppliers, families and economies.

About Majid Al Futtaim 

Founded in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim is the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

A remarkable business success story, Majid Al Futtaim started from one man’s vision to transform the face of shopping, entertainment and leisure to ‘create great moments for everyone, every day’. It has since grown into one of the United Arab Emirates’ most respected and successful businesses spanning 17 international markets, employing more than 43,000 people, and obtaining the highest credit rating (BBB) among privately-held corporates in the region.

Majid Al Futtaim owns and operates 29 shopping malls, 13 hotels and four mixed-use communities, with further developments underway in the region. The shopping malls portfolio includes Mall of the Emirates, Mall of Egypt, Mall of Oman, City Centre malls, My City Centre neighbourhood centres, and five community malls which are in joint venture with the Government of Sharjah. The Company is the exclusive franchisee for Carrefour in over 30 markets across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, operating a portfolio of more than 375 outlets including City+, the region’s first checkout-free store, and an online store.

Majid Al Futtaim operates more than 500 VOX Cinemas screens as well as a portfolio of world-class leisure and entertainment experiences across the region including Ski Dubai, Ski Egypt, Dreamscape, Magic Planet, Little Explorers and iFLY Dubai. The Company is parent to a Fashion, Home and Specialty retail business representing international brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, AllSaints, lululemon athletica, Crate & Barrel, Maisons du Monde, LEGO and THAT, a Majid Al Futtaim fashion concept store and app. In addition, Majid Al Futtaim operates Enova, a facility and energy management company, through a joint venture operation with Veolia, a global leader in optimised environment resource management.


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About Yandex 

Yandex is a technology company that builds intelligent products and services powered by machine learning  to help consumers and businesses better navigate the online and offline world. Since 1997, Yandex has delivered world-class, locally relevant search and information services. Additionally, the company has developed market-leading on-demand transportation services, navigation products and other mobile applications for millions of consumers across the globe. Yandex, which has more than 30 offices worldwide, has been listed on the NASDAQ (YNDX) since 2011.

About Yandex Self-Driving Group

Yandex has been developing its proprietary self-driving technology since 2017. As of today, Yandex Self-Driving Group’s autonomous vehicle fleet has 170 cars, which have driven ten million autonomous miles on public roads in various weather and road conditions in different countries, including the US. Since late 2019, the company has also been developing its own delivery robots. Yandex robots are already delivering orders from shops and restaurants to customers on several markets.

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