|25 March, 2020

Coronavirus in UAE: Majid Al Futtaim retains, redeploys over 1,000 employees

The group runs 27 malls across the region - including the City Centre malls in the UAE.

Majid Al Futtaim's My City Centre Al Dhait in Ras Al Khaimah

Majid Al Futtaim's My City Centre Al Dhait in Ras Al Khaimah

Majid Al Futtaim/Handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya

With the closure of malls across the country amid Covid-19 scare, over 1,000 employees of Majid Al Futtaim group, who were on the brink of being rendered jobless, have been retained and redeployed by the company.

The group that runs 27 malls across the region - including the City Centre malls in the UAE - has reskilled and redeployed 1,015 employees from VOX Cinemas, Magic Planet, Little Explorers and Ski Dubai to join the company's Carrefour business temporarily in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman and Lebanon. The retained employees will assist in the online order fulfillment, food packing, stock replenishment and more at local Carrefour stores.

These employees have been assigned to positions across the Carrefour business, including supermarkets, hypermarkets, dark stores, fulfillment centres, and distribution centres. Prior to starting their new roles, employees completed on-the-job training as well as health and safety training, in line with additional precautions that have been put in place by Carrefour.

The new positions created will also help Carrefour to cater to the increased demand at both its physical and online stores. In the first three weeks of March, Carrefour saw an increase in customer demand across the region with daily online sales increasing by 50 per cent compared to the same period in February.

Alain Bejjani, CEO at Majid Al Futtaim - Holding, said: "The employee redeployment programme is an opportunity for our leisure, entertainment and cinema employees to continue to learn and explore new experiences in other parts of our business during this time. I am extremely proud of each one of them as they have shown a relentless desire to support their colleagues across the company and ensure our customers continue to have access to essential items."

"While our redeployment efforts come during unprecedented times, a recent World Economic Forum report suggested that by 2022, 54 per cent of the total workforce in an organisation will require significant reskilling and upskilling. The current situation has accelerated the need for employees to stay competitive and will require companies to relook at how they utilise their talent," Bejjani added.

From Wednesday, March 25, malls across the UAE have closed down for two weeks, as part of the preventive measures to stop the spread of the Covid-19.

However, supermarkets and some pharmacies within malls will remain open to ensure everyone is able to access essentials.

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