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Cathay, Emaar pact for multiplexes

Gigantic shopping mall to open in Dubai in '08

Singapore hardtop chain Cathay Organisation has pacted with property developer Emaar Malls Group to build and manage multiplex cinemas in Emaar’s Dubai shopping complexes.

Deal sees the two create a joint venture company Reel Entertainment that is 75% owned by Emaar and commit $30 million to first 30 screens at two Dubai sites.

The gigantic Dubai Mall, launching in September 2008, will include territory’s largest multiplex, a 22-screener comprising four premier screens, an arthouse screen and 17 commercial halls. Reel will subsequently open an eight-screen Cineplex at the waterfront Dubai Marina Mall.

Emaar, which has invested some $4 billion in retail developments, sees the Reel partnership spanning its portfolio of 150 malls, which are in development across the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

Cathay, which has been a linch pin of Singapore cinema since 1935, now operates as exhibitor and distribber in Singapore and Malaysia.

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