Retailers in Bahrain have a renewed confidence as significant new supply is forecast to come to market in the next two years, according to real estate consultancy Cluttons.
With positive government interventions to bring in more investors and diversify Bahrain’s real estate market, retail remains a significant area of growth in the kingdom’s property sector, it said in a new report.
The Bahrain Winter 2017/18 Property Market Outlook added that retail rents have remained stable over the last six months.
Some 78,015 sq m of new retail space is expected to be delivered across Bahrain this year, increasing to approximately 93,000 sq m in 2018 and in excess of a further 455,000 sq m by 2020.
Cluttons research said that the depth of developers’ confidence in the sector is reflected in the fact that it is currently tracking 21 retail schemes, spread across more than 1.05 million sq m, at a total cost of over BD277 million ($734.5 million). All projects are due to be completed between now and the start of 2020.
Separate to the development of retail malls, the Gulf’s largest IKEA is on track to open next year at a cost of BD47 million and is expected to create up to 600 new jobs.
Faisal Durrani, head of research at Cluttons, said: “Retail is playing a central role in helping various areas in the kingdom realise their full potential, with residential tenants being drawn to areas that offer high levels of retail penetration.
"We have noted an upturn in the number of community retail developments in locations such as Juffair, while larger shopping malls, such as the BD45 million ‘The Avenues’, are being seen as game changers for the kingdom’s retail scene."
Harry Goodson-Wickes, head of Cluttons Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, added: “The desirability for developers to select existing communities for new schemes has also been fuelled by the strong penetration of retail developments in many of Bahrain’s established residential areas.”
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