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

Why sustainability and hospitality go hand in hand

We travel for the new and the different — places, cuisines, cultures, people, perspectives and experiences. We travel because it changes us, and change begets change.

That’s one reason we at Majid Al Futtaim are invested in providing cleaner, greener and more sustainable travel options across our hotel portfolio. We want our guests to see how easy it is to make small and big changes that benefit the environment, and to know what it feels like. …


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

At the highest levels of global and regional activity, the onus is increasingly on business to engage with and address global issues.

Earlier this week, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on business to lead on climate change, pandemic recovery, sustainability and other global challenges. Policymakers for the European Central Bank said the ECB should consider climate risk and climate-related reporting requirements when conducting monetary policy, lending or buying corporate bonds.

All this points to a new remit for business leaders — to lead not only in their sectors and…


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

The World Economic Forum’s Davos meetings — including this year’s Davos Agenda virtual meeting — are very well timed. They are, in many ways, a strategic staging area where we ready for the marathon before us.

With complex global issues from pandemic recovery to climate change and resetting economic and social systems on our shared horizon — and on the WEF agenda — progress will require the perseverance, long-term outlook and grit that marathons mandate.

For those committed to building to a reset via better business and genuine private-public partnerships…


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

I’ve talked a great deal this last week about the Majid Al Futtaim advanced analytics that detail the recovery of the UAE’s retail economy. But even as the top-line findings continue to make headlines, there is still much to be gleaned from the finer details.

Here are a few details that I found to be illuminating:

1. The difference between a soft W-shaped recovery and the V-shape that preceded it.

Although these are only one letter apart, there is obviously a world of difference between them. There’s also considerable difference between a shallow or soft shape and a deeper or full one. The drop in activity in September averaged 15%, for example; in a full…


Author: Ahmed Galal Ismail, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim — Properties

  • There is a unique opportunity for businesses to lead the way when it comes to sustainable investments.
  • But it needs the support of governments and regulators, and it will require hard dollars and soft power.
  • By seizing the opportunities and working together, the private sector can not only create a more sustainable future but can unlock significant long-term value, for business and for society.

In 2019, impact investing was a $715 billion global market. Looking beyond the pure financial heft of the market, the number accurately reflects the…


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

Chances are you’ve either played with them, stepped on them, bought them or marvelled at their sheer ubiquity in everything from ‘art’ to theme parks. Lego was once named the world’s most powerful brand, and little wonder.

This storied company has made some major changes recently, including DNA-level changes, that are worth paying attention to even for those far removed from the toy industry. This, in my opinion, is particularly important for legacy companies and for their regional equivalent, the MENA family business houses.

Two changes at Lego that stood…


A reflection from the Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2020

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

It’s one of the most telling anecdotes I’ve heard in the last decade. When asked where milk comes from, a little boy living in the UAE confidently replied: “Carrefour!”

While it is cute and the brand recognition is definitely great for us, it’s also problematic. This is not an uncommon story in this day and age, not only for a part of the world unused to seeing cows in pasture or dairies but also for generations far removed from understanding an…


Reflections on SDI2020 — Day Two:

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

What does better business mean? Does it truly make a difference, is it a pipe dream, is it limited to more stable, larger corporations to act on? Is it whitewash or greenwash, a temporary fix created to respond to and draw more consumers?

I was reminded of all these questions — and given answers to them — during Day Two of the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit. Here is some of what stood out for me:

Regional Perspective: The ‘Risk Reset’ session earlier in the day was also…


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

More than 3,000 participants from 130 nations around the world are tuning in to the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit to find the answer to one question: How do we bring our world — including our communities, our nations and regions — back on track to sustainable, inclusive and equitable growth?

The Summit’s Global Opening session suggests the answer is multi-faceted, crucially important and well within our reach.

Here are some moments that stood out to me from today’s opening session:

- Professor Klaus Schwab set the tone…


Thoughts on the Arab world’s first mission to Mars

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

Tomorrow, weather permitting, the UAE’s first mission to Mars will rocket into space from Japan. If all goes well, the Hope orbiter probe will spend the next seven to nine months traveling more than 50 million kilometers to reach Mars’ orbit, and then spend the next two years observing the planet’s atmosphere.

I have never been a space buff. …

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