Middle East: expansion and new services

Date : 28 November 2019

As Majid Al Futtaim adds hydroponic farms, LuLu opens new stores and AliExpress adds new services, we round up news from the region.

Carrefour opens hydroponic farm in Abu Dhabi

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) owned Carrefour has opened two hydroponic farms at stores in My City Centre Masdar and Yas Mall. MAF said the hydroponic farms enable shoppers to buy from a select range of herbs and microgreens, once they are fully grown within the facility. Underlining their sustainable focus, the farms use 90% less water and less space than traditional farms to deliver around 25kg of fresh herbs and microgreens each day.

LuLu continues to expand

LuLu is sustaining its pace of store opening, expanding its presence in the key markets of Saudi Arabia and UAE. In the former, it has opened a 4,600 sq. m LuLu Express Fresh Market in the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) campus in the Dammam region. The new store is the fourth built as a result of the agreement signed between LuLu and SANG in 2018.

Meanwhile, in the UAE it opened its third store of 2019 in Dubai, its 15th in the emirate overall, as it aims to open six more in the short term. In the UAE more widely, LuLu has said it is looking to add 22 new stores as part of its wider expansion plans.

AliExpress extends services in Saudi Arabia and UAE

The company has said growing demand in Saudi Arabia and UAE is encouraging it to expand its range of services. It has begun to offer the consolidation of orders for cheaper delivery and cash on delivery as a payment option. To better facilitate the delivery of orders AliExpress is looking to open a warehouse in Saudi Arabia to add to the one it operates in UAE.

ADNOC launches ‘On the go’ format

ADNOC has launched a new concept, ADNOC On the go, which will see it flex its stations and their offer to the needs of local shoppers. The different designs will see larger concepts added on major roads to offer a wider range of products and services, while in urban communities it will see smaller formats rolled out providing shoppers with a more convenient solution. The company will add 50 ADNOC On the go forecourts in 2020, while also opening sites under its standard banner in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Simultaneously the company is upgrading existing stores, a programme it is aiming to complete by the end of 2021. A key part of this will be to integrate digital solutions more fully into its stores. This will include a relaunched digital loyalty programme and the extension of ADNOC Wallet, which will enable shoppers to pay quickly.