How fast does your business run, and to what end?

Author: Alain Bejjani — CEO, Majid Al Futtaim — Holding

In the natural world, species must continually evolve to survive; the same is true for business. This is the Red Queen effect, inspired by the author Lewis Carroll’s words: It takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you have to run at least twice as fast as that.

I was reminded of those lines last week at the opening of CarrefourCity+, the region’s first checkout-free store.


What our new record in sustainable finance means for you

Author: Alain Bejjani — CEO, Majid Al Futtaim — Holding

Sustainability-linked loans may sound complicated, but they are worth taking a few minutes to understand as they affect every one of us.

Simply put, they exemplify doing well by doing good. Because of our commitment to and achievements in sustainability, Majid Al Futtaim has been able to secure more competitive financing to further our business goals across our operations and markets — specifically, a US$1.5 billion sustainability-linked loan, the largest corporate, non-government linked loan of its kind in the region.

Author: Alain Bejjani — CEO, Majid Al Futtaim — Holding

Disruption is the steel-cut oats of a thriving business — perhaps not the most popular choice, but undoubtedly good for you.

Succeeding at disruption requires business to have a finger on the pulse of the industry, markets and consumers; to remain nimble; and to be comfortable with constant rethinking, reinvention, and repositioning.

Our cinema business is a case in point. With VOX Cinemas possessing the region’s largest network of cinemas, it seems fair to query our viability in the face of increasing streaming options, changes to traditional distribution, and shrinking…

Author: Alain Bejjani — CEO, Majid Al Futtaim — Holding

At first glance, business and sport seem to have much in common. Both are results- and performance-oriented, highly competitive, thrive on differentiation, strategy and teamwork, for example.

Both are also clearly about people. Sports, like no other platform, is a microcosm of life: through its highs and lows, we learn how to better respond to them; through its universality, it shows us we have more that unites us than separates us.

Sports shows us what the human spirit is made of. The pursuit of excellence, persistence, achievement, the will to…

How do we nurture involvement?

Author: Alain Bejjani — CEO, Majid Al Futtaim — Holding

Recently, two people I don’t know, have never met and who are at opposite ends of the age spectrum gave me something to think about.

The first is a 10-year old, Tani Adewumi, a Nigerian refugee who was living in a homeless shelter in New York City when he became a chess champion in 2019. Last month, he became a national chess master.

The second is Asfaw Yemiru, who passed away last month, in his late 70s, after founding and leading one of Ethiopia’s best…

Author: Alain Bejjani — CEO, Majid Al Futtaim — Holding

Spending time trying to predict the future is an exercise in futility. Instead, history has shown us that the only way to predict the future is to shape it — to actively work towards it.

Two pieces of recent news reminded me of that. First, that Google is opening its first permanent retail store, which will sell its phones, wearables and other products; host workshops and provide repair and troubleshooting services; and, perhaps most importantly, allow customers to try before they buy.

Second, this compelling interview about the rise of…

Alain Bejjani — CEO, Majid Al Futtaim — Holding
Ahmed Galal Ismail — CEO, Majid Al Futtaim — Properties
Hani Weiss — CEO, Majid Al Futtaim — Retail
Ignace Lahoud — CEO, Majid Al Futtaim — Leisure, Entertainment & Cinemas

For the last 20 years, prioritising Saudi Arabia has been a no-brainer for Majid Al Futtaim: The Middle East’s largest economy and the world’s top oil exporter has strong market fundamentals. Today, five years into the Vision 2030 economic transformation that could reshape the MENA region for decades to come, the Kingdom is even more compelling.

Transformation is unfolding…

Cultivating our hidden leaders

Author: Alain Bejjani — CEO, Majid Al Futtaim — Holding

There’s been much debate over the last year about the future of the workplace — will we work from home, from different geographies, how will we collaborate and so on. Less has been said about the future of the workforce.

I recently had the privilege of participating in a very thought-provoking panel discussion on this with some of the brightest minds in global business today. …

Author: Alain Bejjani — CEO, Majid Al Futtaim — Holding

How do you disrupt a disruption? How do you turn something innovative into something even more so? The answer starts with thinking alloy.

All science students know stronger alloys are created by mixing metals — and knowing which specific ingredient to add can improve toughness, corrosion resistance, ductility and so on.

The same is true for business: Knowing your business and your market thoroughly allows you to add the right ingredient that will strengthen an innovation and increase its traction. …

Author: Alain Bejjani — CEO, Majid Al Futtaim — Holding

If you’ve lived in the Middle East for any length of time, you’ve hopefully experienced the magic of a baqala.

These indispensable neighbourhood grocery stores were not only masters of logistics, squeezing arrays of goods into small spaces, they were almost prescient in anticipating customer demand. I’ve shared earlier about my experiences as a child at my local shop with shopkeepers who knew what I liked and needed, often before I knew myself. They were all about the personal.

Baqalas also perfected the art of super-fast and small-volume delivery. Many…

Majid Al Futtaim

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