Retail realty to transform the economy

The retail real estate sector in the UAE is showing positive growth with the advent and announcement of new mallsYash Shah

Shopping malls are becoming a real estate hot spot, reflecting a shift in the market from the traditional business model to a more consumer- oriented infrastructure development.

This will speed up the pace in the real estate industry, with the rapid development of commercial and tourism-related infrastructure projects along with clustered high-rise residential properties in the cities.

Retail in real estate basically focuses on the development of retail assets in order to manage such properties for retail purposes.

The real estate developers in the UAE and the Gulf region are currently pushing hard for retail infradevelopment in line with the huge growth in the retail sector, in the design and development of shopping malls. This is in the wake of the paradigm shift witnessed in the shopping culture of people over the last decade.

Shopping malls have long been the destination for shopping and entertainment needs as customers are now looking for an overall experience. With the huge shift in the shopping patterns of people, malls have now evolved into a comprehensive infrastructure catering to the tourism, corporate as well as residential segments. This transformation of shopping centers has immense potential to contribute to the economy.

With the growth in the sector, retail businesses are looking at flexibility in terms of space options so malls are being developed to cater to the new retail formats. New malls offer customers a comfortable ambience, where everything is available under the same roof. This is an opportunity for the developers to create some quality housing projects as well.

The retail real estate sector in the UAE is showing positive growth with the advent and announcement of new malls.

A strong recovery in Dubai’s tourism and trade industries has revived interest in the sort of largerthan- life mega projects, prompting the developers to announce a raft of new housing, retail and hospitality developments.

On a larger canvas, these announcements would scale up the current facilities in Dubai, in line with the city’s ambitions for the future.

A typical example of this trend is the recent announcement of the Mall of the World project, the largest shopping mall and the first temperature-controlled city in the world.

The project, featuring a seven-kilometer covered retail street network occupying a total area of 48 million square feet along Shaikh Zayed Road will comprise the world’s largest indoor theme park. With an innovative concept of an integrated pedestrian city connected to the retail area, the mall will unveil a wide range of leisure, retail, cultural, wellness, recreation and hospitality options all under one roof.

Ranked among Dubai’s most ambitious projects ever planned, Mall of the World is part of the strategy to boost the emirate’s burgeoning tourism economy by providing a multitude of options for visitors. Once launched, the mall is expected to welcome around 180 million visitors from across the globe annually, acting as a year-round destination for them. Without the need to leave the city or use a car, tourists will be able to enjoy a week-long stay at the mall.

The project will also see the development of 100 more hotels and serviced apartments, with additional 20,000 hotel rooms to boost the hospitality sector in Dubai.

The retail and leisurebased development aims to capitalize on improving investor sentiment towards Dubai in the wake of the rapid appreciation of property prices.

Click on Retail and hotel sectors for more real estate report

Source: Yash Shah, Special to Freehold
The writer is a Property Sales & Leasing Manager, SPF Realty


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