What it does: Owns and operates retail and leisure establishments as well as shopping malls in the Middle East and North Africa.
Best known for: Operating 12 hotels and 22 malls. This includes the Mall of Egypt in Cairo, the Mall of Emirates in Dubai, and seven City Centres (large-scale, mixed-use shopping destinations) in the UAE and thirteen in the wider Middle East region.
Staff stats: 48,000
The good bits: The company considers its people as its 'greatest asset'. This is achieved through competitive salary and benefits, a racially diverse workforce (over 110 nationalities), and extensive training.
The not-so-good bits: Insiders complain about racial politics that get in the way of fair promotions and benefits. The company is afflicted with issues commonly encountered by large companies including slow decision making and bureaucracy. Expect a fast-paced and demanding work environment that may put a damper on work-life balance.
Majid Al Futtaim Group was founded in 1992 by Majid Al Futtaim, an Emirati businessman, with the goal of transforming the face of entertainment, shopping, and leisure. Since then, it has grown to become one of the UAE's most successful businesses spanning 13 international markets with over 48,000 employees. In the Middle East, it has the highest credit rating (BBB) among all privately-held corporations.
MAF operates and owns over 11 hotels, 18 shopping malls, and three mixed-use communities in the Middle East and North Africa with more developments underway. The group's portfolio is extensive, with several widely-known establishments that include Mall of the Emirates, numerous City Centre malls, and four community malls that are established as joint ventures with the Government of Sharjah. MAF owns exclusive rights to the Carrefour franchise, a leading retail brand, in 38 markets across Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, while operating 85 supermarkets and 65 hypermarkets in 12 countries.
Among the most iconic businesses and establishments the company owns are 175 VOX Cinema screens, 19 Magic Planet family entertainment centres, Ski Dubai, iFly Dubai and the first LEGO-certified store in the Middle East. It also operates Enova, a facility management company, and numerous food and beverage establishments through a partnership with Gourmet Gulf.
In 2018, MAF's group revenue grew 8% reaching AED 34.6 billion with sustained financial growth driven by diversification and expansion efforts across the world while promoting cost optimisation and efficiency.
The recruitment process varies from role to role, but graduates may expect a series of telephone or face-to-face interviews with HR representatives or department managers. Graduates must prepare for behavioural interviews about previous experiences and credentials or technical interviews that gauge their knowledge on the role. Certain openings require written or online technical tests. The process may take two days to three months.
An industry competitive basic salary with fringe benefits that may include health insurance, life insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, employee discounts, and housing allowance, among others.
MAF's work culture revolves around collaboration and diversity. It aims to build an environment that promotes commitment, encourages new ideas, and supports individual development. Each employee, regardless of role or stage in their career, is encouraged to play an active role in all aspects of the business.
With a workforce of 110 nationalities, the company commits to promoting diversity by fostering an inclusive culture that lives up to its values and purpose. A strong code of conduct against workplace harassment is imposed, as there are actions or behaviours that may be acceptable to one culture but not in another. The company's commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in its talent recruitment and selection, transfers, professional development and training and terminations, among others.
MAF's corporate social responsibility is expressed through sustainability (being one of the most environmentally considerate companies in the world) and social impact (with a responsibility to improve the communities it serves and the markets it operates in socially, financially, and environmentally).
The company's long term goal is to produce more water and energy than it consumes, until finally reaching a Net Positive business model by 2040. Samples of initiatives include harnessing renewable energy, using the surplus of cooking oil to power vehicles and helping local suppliers promote and sell their products through free listings and shelf space. In addition, Ski Dubai offers a platform for people with the potential to become world-class winter sports athletes with sponsored athlete programs that hone them for international competitions.
If graduates can get through the fast-paced environment and workplace politics, MAF has a lot in store for them. With an employee-centric work philosophy, this company does its best to grow its pool of talented workers with competitive salaries, numerous benefits, and extensive training.