MENA Region’s First Furnishings Mall and Design Center Launches

Local and international brands have leased 100% of the first two phases of Designopolis, the region's first furnishings and design retail center

Bonyan for Development and Trade, Citadel Capital’s Platform Company for specialty real estate projects, today announced that it has completed all stages of construction and launched phases 1 and 2 of its Designopolis furnishings, design and home accessories mall in Sixth of October City. The venue will feature local and international furniture and design brands as well as complementary services and attractions.

Construction was completed on schedule in less than 18 months.

The first and second phases of the 116,824 square-meter open air space are fully leased by major international tenants including TechnoGym, Artissimo, Archimedia, Madar and Reflection, along with local brands such as Gemma (Al-Jawhara), Amr Helmy, 3 Brothers, Shatex and Taki. Model flagship stores already welcoming customers include Bo Concept, Maison Coloniale, Roche Bobois, Alessi and Art of Form.

“Designopolis brings the best home-grown and international interiors concepts to Egypt in one location,” said Nader Lahzi, Managing Director of Bonyan. “But in its form, Designopolis looks to be more than a retailer. From products to services and sources of inspiration, Designopolis honors creativity and vision. It is a destination for professionals and families alike, a place to explore ideas, find unique and world-class items or simply appreciate the possibilities of designed interiors.”

Designopolis was designed by the renowned architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and will be Egypt’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified construction project. The indoor-outdoor site integrates the natural environment with 55,000 square meters of shopping space and capacity to host 220 brand outlets. It is located just off the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road mere minutes past the entrance to Smart Village.

“Egypt’s commercial and residential real estate market continues to expand on the strength of a rapidly growing population and increased earning power,” said Marwan Elaraby, Managing Director at Citadel Capital. “Housing demand continues to exceed supply by some 350,000 units annually as Egypt’s population grows and the benefits of development find their way into the broader society. Designopolis will showcase a wide range of brands at one location to capitalize on the highly fragmented industry that now serves this sector.”

Designopolis will include attractions such as art galleries, an auction house, exhibition hall, interior design school, amphitheater and public design library. The mall’s complementary service offerings provide personal shopping and concierge services, a resources bureau, an interior design consultancy, movers and packers, mortgage companies and insurance services.

Bonyan is currently studying opportunities to expand Designopolis both to other locations within Egypt such as Katameya as well as internationally to Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Morocco, where growth trends support major real estate developments.

—Ends—

Bonyan for Development and Trade is a company established by Citadel Capital and a group of co-investors to invest in retail and commercial developments in the Middle East and North Africa. Bonyan has completed construction of Designopolis, the first furnishings mall and design center in the Middle East and North Africa with showcasing leading domestic and international bands. Located in the Cairo suburb of Sixth of October City, Designopolis West has room for 220 stores. Full regular operations will begin in the fourth quarter of 2009. Bonyan is currently studying opportunities to expand the Designopolis brand to other locations within Egypt including Katameya as well as internationally to Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Morocco, where growth trends support major real estate developments.

Citadel Capital is the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and North Africa. The firm focuses on building platform investments throughout the region in select industries through acquisitions, turnarounds, and greenfields executed via Opportunity Specific Funds. Citadel Capital’s 19 OSFs now control Platform Companies with investments worth more than US$ 8.3 billion in 14 industries, including mining, cement, transportation, food and energy. Since 2004, the firm has returned more than US$ 2.2 billion in cash to investors, more than any other private equity firm in the region.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Ghada Hammouda
Head of Corporate Communications,
Citadel Capital (S.A.E.)

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