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Despite the mushrooming of community malls in several residential districts of the UAE, the large super regional and regional malls will continue to dominate the retail market.
The reasons for the growth have been attributed to high disposable income, expansion of malls, the advent of more international retailers, population growth and the rising fashion consciousness among the residents.
Even the increased number of tourists to the UAE is expected to boost the retail market in the country, which is prompting many of the mall developers to go for major expansions.
According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s (JLL) study on the real estate trends in Dubai for the second quarter of 2014, rents in super regional malls like Mall of the Emirates and The Dubai Mall have witnessed a 12 per cent year-on-year increase. From the current stock of around 2.9 million square meters of gross leasable area (GLA) available in the malls in Dubai, around 214,000 square meters of GLA are expected to be added by 2015.
Some of the retail developments set to alter the retail skyline of Dubai in the next couple of years include the Phoenix Mall in International City, City Centre Me’aisem near the International Media Production Zone, Deira Islands Mall and two malls in Palm Jumeirah. The construction of the grandiose Mall of the World located on Shaikh Zayed Road is set to resume in the first quarter of 2015.
Abu Dhabi has also emerged as a hot spot, adding the maximum amount of retail space in the Gulf region in the next three years. It is estimated that around 778,000 square meters of shopping space will be added, with Yas Mall set to be inaugurated in November. Other new shopping attractions coming up include Sowwah Central on Al Maryah Island, Paragon Bay Mall on Reem Island, Mina Plaza in Mina Zayed, Darwish Island City on Airport Road and Shamkha Mall in Shamkha.
• Rents in super regional malls in Dubai see 12% YOY increase
• Construction of the Mall of the World will resume in Q1 2015
• Rising tourist numbers in UAE expected to boost retail sector
On the other hand, Majid Al Futtaim Properties has a 33% growth forecast for UAE's retail sector
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer