Aswaaq is the largest chain of community centres and supermarkets in the UAE and is a public joint-stock company (under formation).
Aswaaq and the Dubai Government have entered this venture together with the latter owning 45%.
In return, the Dubai Government allocates the land to aswaaq and the remaining will be listed as an IPO.
In his first statement Bin Bayat said, “Aswaaq comes inline with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai who mentioned the project during a presentation when he said “We have solutions that heavily depend on UAE National human resources like the project of aswaaq which relies on state-of-the-art technology which minimizes the need to minimal labour requirements and provides investment opportunities for youths.”
“Aswaaq will focus in its work on using the best international practices to decrease the operating costs of the project. So it will be possible to provide the products and services to the customers with reasonable and fair prices, in addition to its contribution in the leading mission of the supporting establishments to the minor and medium projects in the UAE, as well as encourage UAE nationals to work as suppliers and investors in the project. A share of the profits will be given to social services.
Dubai is a leader in mall and retail outlets. Studies and research foresee that by 2010 Dubai’s malls will occupy 50% of the GCC region’s total area of malls; mall area will increase from 13 million square feet to 30 million square feet. Studies predict that the retail industry of Dubai will increase to $50bn by 2010.
Abdul Basit Al Janahi said, “aswaaq will be a leading national company, established with the support of UAE nationals contributing to their society with the introduction of a new concept in modern shopping and provides profitable investment opportunities to the UAE nationals.”
He added: “aswaaq is a refreshing new concept in convenience shopping in a range of small, medium, and large community centres, at its heart, housing a friendly and enticingly vibrant supermarket complemented by quality retail shops and services. aswaaq is dedicated to be of high commercial and competitive capacity serving the local community through its socially dedicated management.”
Al Janahi pointed out the days ahead would host great progress leading to the opening of the first aswaaq community and supermarket centre in Dubai.
He continued by saying, “Aswaaq is planning to open a number of community centres and supermarkets in major UAE locations which will provide general public goods and services at fair prices. Other aswaaq locations and opening dates will be announced soon.”
The construction is taking place rapidly in preparation for the big launch of aswaaq as the first shopping centre of its kind located across the Dubai with aswaaq’s intention of providing quality products and services across the city.
The committee will soon hold its first meeting to adopt the statute of aswaaq, its strategy and objectives, to ensure its powerful take-off and smooth operations in the UAE market.