INTERVIEW: Majid Al-Futtaim inaugurates Almaza Recruitment and Training Centre to boost human capital: Country head

Doaa A.Moneim , Wednesday 2 Mar 2022

Funded by Majid Al-Futtaim Properties Egypt, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Swiss Confederation; the leading shopping mall, communities, retail, and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia inaugurated on Monday the Almaza Recruitment and Training Centre (ARTC) at City Centre Almaza.

Diaa Yehia
Diaa Yehia, Country Head at Majid Al Futtaim Properties.

This was done under the auspices of Egypt’s Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj. The centre will be run by Education for Employment-Egypt under the consultancy of People First International.

On the side-lines of the inauguration ceremony, Diaa Yehia, the country head at Majid Al Futtaim Properties Egypt, spoke to Ahram Online on how such a centre is expected to support Egypt’s efforts in boosting its human capital and enhancing the labour landscape.

Yehia talked about his vision for the Egyptian economy, investment climate, and the efforts made by the government to support it, in addition to the role the private sector can play in supporting such efforts.

“We have witnessed a significant improvement in Egypt under the government’s economic and structural reform programmes that aim to help and support the investment climate in the local market. We have also seen the simplification of the approval cycles and processes. That is what we experienced, for instance, during the construction of City Centre Almaza, which is considered an investment zone that is subjected to Egypt’s General Authority for Free Zones and Investment (GAFI),” Yehia told Ahram Online.

“This climate encourages investors to stay and to expand their current investments as well as contribute to attracting new investments.”

“We have been here for more than 20 years, and our plan focuses on continuing to invest in the Egyptian market,” Yehia asserted.

“In this respect, we originally designed an investment plan for our operation in the Egyptian market worth EGP 22 billion from 2012 through 2022; then, we decided to double these investments to reach EGP 44 billion. Additionally, we have continued our plans to develop the Mall of Egypt that is located in the 6th of October City — which cost about EGP 12.5 billion — and to develop City Centre Almaza as well — which cost EGP 9.3 billion.”

“Moreover, we are working on developing Carrefour branches, VOX Cinemas, Magic Planet, and Ski Egypt. Furthermore, there are a number of projects in the pipeline yet to be announced to be executed in the Egyptian market,” Yehia added.

On his perception regarding Egypt’s efforts to support the economic and investment scene, Yehia noted that the state is making significant progress, especially for the problems investors are likely to face while working in the domestic market.

“We have been witnessing a significant boom in the infrastructure sector here in Egypt over the past seven years, which has contributed to saving the time commuting takes daily, which consequently increased our sales and revenues. This is also applicable for all other sectors as well. Infrastructure is the backbone of the development process in any country around the world,” Yehia explained.

In this respect, Yehia told Ahram Online that Majid Al-Futtaim Properties invested heavily on the infrastructures surrounding its assets, especially in constructing roads, bridges, and flyovers to improve all infrastructure within the communities it operates in.

“That is how the private sector can contribute to supporting the state’s efforts in the development process,” he pointed out.

Regarding the ARTC, Yehia told Ahram Online that the key vision of Majid Al-Futtaim’s investment is to create great moments for everyone, everyday — so it is all about inclusion.  

“The ARTC shares the same message, which is in line with Egypt’s 2030 Vision when it comes to inclusion and empowerment, especially for women, youths, and individuals with special needs. The centre will help these categories,” he mentioned.

He also noted that the ARTC looks beyond training Majid Al-Futtaim’s staff, adding that the opening of the centre aims to better serve the Egyptian public by helping both employers and employees identify, explore, and take on new opportunities with an advanced set of skills.

“This would not have been possible without the unwavering commitment of our partners, who helped see the success of this centre through.”

The centre is now open at City Centre Almaza, offering a range of courses within retail and hospitality, such as working in retail, coaching for success, café culture, and casual dining, among others.

The centre aims to support organisations in training and recruiting potential and existing employees, providing them with vocational training and job placement opportunities to help them advance within their careers.

“Global and local financial institutions have appraised Egypt’s economic performance and have expressed their optimism about the country’s economy, showcasing its resilience,” Yehia told Ahram Online about his outlook for Egypt’s economic and investment scene.

He added that Egypt’s outlook, even for the coming ten years, shows positive resilience against internal and external factors.

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