The MAF Group, in conjunction with anchor partner Carrefour, primarily develops and manages shopping malls and hypermarkets across Egypt and the Middle East. MAF is considering new development projects in Saudi Arabia following 15-20% falls in urban land values; expansion would improve MAF's positioning in Saudi, a market dominated by early-mover MAF competitors.
Until last year, the Syrian retail sector lacked big malls and associated hypermarket chains because the importation of foreign consumer goods and electronic items was banned. However, the Syrian government has gradually liberalized import restrictions and many foreign goods have been removed from the list of banned items, leading a number of Gulf retail groups to consider entering the country.
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