Haseeb Haider/Abu Dhabi- Khaleej Times
The Lulu Group will introduce the halal food concept in Indonesia by opening its first hypermarket in Jakarta by the end of this year.
The retail group will spend $300 million on opening 15 hypermarkets in the largest Muslim nation in the next two years.
The announcement came during the visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Abu Dhabi. The
president visited Lulu Hypermarket in Khalidiya Mall to open an exhibition of Indonesian food exports.
The Indonesian President is on a five-day state visit to three Middle Eastern countries – Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar – to boost Indonesia’s relations, particularly in investment, trade and Indonesian migrant worker protection.
“With an initial investment of $300 million in the first phase, we plan to open 15 hypermarkets by
the end of 2017 along with a central logistics and warehousing facility in Jakarta. These projects are likely to generate more than 5,000 job opportunities for Indonesians,” said Yusuffali MA, managing director of Lulu Group.
“The fact that we are going to Indonesia with our halal hypermarket concept is giving us the encouragement to look for a wider market segment there,” added Yusuffali.
Apart from the capital city of Jakarta, Lulu intends to open hypermarkets in Bandung, Solo, Semarang, Surabaya and Yogyakarta.
“We also plan to set up contract farming to ensure continuous supply of high quality farm produce and to support the Indonesian agriculture sector,” Yusuffali added.
President Widodo was impressed by the exhibition and asked Yusuffali to import more products from villages and towns in Indonesia. Jokowi also enquired about the prices of various Indonesian products imported to Abu Dhabi.
Hundreds of Indonesians had gathered at Khalidiya Mall to greet their president.
Saifee Rupawala, chief executive officer of Lulu Group; Salim MA, director; and Rajmohan Nair, director of Lulu Far East operations were also present on the occasion.
President Jokowi and his accompanying delegation were taken on a guided tour of the hypermarket by Yusuffali who briefed him about specialties of the retail store.
The Lulu Group currently operates 117 stores across the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and India.