Union Coop, the largest cooperative retail group in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is planning to expand its footprint outside home country to Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia, its CEO said.
Describing the three Gulf Cooperation Council states as "mature markets," Khalid Humaid Bin Diban Al Falasi said: "We will either partner with some other groups or we will go it alone. (As things stand now) 80 percent we will go it alone."
He said more details about the expansion would be revealed in March next year.
Al Falasi was speaking at an event to announce the opening of its third mall in the UAE, Al Warqa City Mall.
The 347.6 million UAE dirhams ($94.6 million) mall, located in Dubai's Al Warqa-3 area, would serve the residents of Warqa and Mirdif areas, according to Union Coop press statement. It said the five-storey property has a built-up area of 685,112 square feet, adding that the construction cost was 373 dirhams ($101.6) per square feet.
The occupancy rate for the mall's 42 stores and 11 kiosks is 90 percent.
The CEO also said the group is planning to launch three new stores in Al Barsha, Dubai Sports City and Jumeirah by the end of next year.
The group opened its largest warehouse in Al Khawaneej in July and another warehouse will be opened in Bur Dubai soon, he said.
(Reporting by Bhaskar Raj; Editing by Anoop Menon)
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