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Arabian Centres, the largest owner, developer and operator of contemporary lifestyle centres in Saudi Arabia, has launched its next-generation retail experience, brought to life through two new locations Jawharat Al-Riyadh and Jawharat Jeddah malls, collectively bringing more than 235.6 thousand square metres (sqm) of GLA.

The company has signed two agreements with Riyad Capital, the investment arm of Riyad Bank, to establish two real estate investment funds worth SAR6.2 billion for the projects. Under the agreement, Arabian Centres will handle the development and management in both cities, while the investment funds will secure funding for the projects.

Fully immersive lifestyle destinations Jawharat Al-Riyadh and Jawharat Jeddah Malls will offer all-inclusive, modern experiences, bringing together luxury retail brands, a broad range of dining concepts and vast entertainment offerings, including cinemas and arcades. The malls will be home to some of the world’s leading fashion brands, with many opening their branches in the Middle East or Saudi Arabia for the first time. With both closed and open spaces, landscaped green areas, an artificial lake, and a walkway the sites will bring a truly unique visitor experience to the Kingdom.

Located near the intersection of King Khalid Road with Al-Orouba Road, Jawharat Al-Riyadh Mall will encompass an area of nearly 623.4 thousand sqm with a market value of about SAR2.1 billion. Meanwhile, Jawharat Jeddah Mall is currently under construction in the Al Muhammadiyah district at the intersection of King Abdulaziz Road with Al-Salam Road, covering an area of 170.7 thousand sqm, with a market value of nearly SAR1.2 billion.

Riyad Capital will oversee and provide coverage for the funds, while the units of both funds will be fully owned by Arabian Centres. Arabian Centres will retain the right of management and operation of the developed malls associated with these two CMA-licensed funds, and according to the terms and conditions of the two funds. They later might be traded publicly as Real Estate Investment Traded Funds (REITs).

On the announcement, Managing Director of Arabian Centres, Mohamad Mourad, reiterated the company’s continued dedication to its ambitious development plans: “These are two truly unique concepts that Arabian Centres is bringing to the Kingdom, offering fully integrated retail and leisure locations that cater to residents of Riyadh and Jeddah inclusively. We have set out an impressive growth strategy, with the inherent aim of uplifting the standard of services, products, and experiences to our customers. Simultaneously, we aim to deliver consistent added value to both our tenants that support their own growth in the country, fully supportive and in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.”

Sabty Al-Sabty, Riyad Capital’s CEO, expressed great excitement regarding the launch of the funds as well as the partnership with Arabian Centres, highlighting the important role the financial market plays in the development of the real estate sector and strengthening the relationship between the private sector and investment companies. He also added that the institutional framework contributes by increasing efficiency and growth of businesses as well as creating opportunities for high-quality real estate projects.

Construction work of Jawharat Al-Riyadh Mall began in August 2021 and is currently approaching 15% completion, a total investment of nearly SAR1.8 billion. The mall is strategically located near several key capital city landmarks, including the Diplomatic Quarter and Diriyah Gate. The fund is expected to accelerate development progress, with the mall projected to open in the first half of 2025.

Given the project’s excellent location, the company’s leasing department has already received expression of interest from brands, accounting for around 70% of the approximate 148.4 thousand sqm leasable area. Once operational, the mall is expected to create around 7,000 jobs.

In parallel, Jawharat Jeddah Mall’s construction currently stands at 14% completion, with an equally advantageous location near King Abdulaziz International Airport and the Jeddah Yacht Club, located on the Jeddah Corniche. The investment in Jawharat Jeddah Mall totals some SAR1.1 billion, and the mall is expected to become operational in the first half of 2024. A total of 70% of the leasable area has also already received letters of interest from potential tenants, covering an area of approximately 87.2 thousand sqm total leasable area. Once operational, the mall is expected to create some 5,000 jobs.

The addition of two new malls, Jawharat Al-Riyadh and Jawharat Jeddah will boost Arabian Centres’ locations to a total of 23 shopping centres, across 11 cities, further positioning it as the largest owner, developer and operator of malls and shopping centres in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.