Revealed: how the UAE plans to grow its retail appeal

Just under 2 million sq m of retail space is currently under construction with Dubai accounting for the majority - report
By Staff writer
Tue 14 Nov 2017 02:17 PM

The UAE has just under 2 million square metres of retail space currently under construction with Dubai accounting for the majority of upcoming developments in the country, according to real estate advisor CBRE.

In new research, CBRE said the UAE is second behind Turkey as the most active country in terms of shopping centre development in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

It added that a total of 1 million sq m of new shopping centre space was completed across EMEA in the first six months of the year with a further 11.1 million sq m of new space currently under construction.

Turkey, the UAE and Russia account for more than 50 percent of total development under construction in 2017.

CBRE said that with an increasing competitive retail landscape, new schemes coming onto the UAE market are trying to differentiate themselves by providing amenities and new experiences that are difficult to replicate online.

Meydan One Mall, for example, is expected to include more than 100 food and beverage outlets, the world’s largest indoor ski slope and a luxury brand quarter.

Mat Green, head of research and consulting, CBRE Middle East, said: “Retail demand in Dubai remains heavily orientated towards the major shopping centres, with prime malls continuing to demonstrate very high occupancy rates and more stable leasing rates.

“Development activity in the retail sector remains buoyant with approximately 1.0 million m2 of gross leasable area set to be handed over between 2017 and 2019,” added Green.

Across Europe, CBRE said the Eastern European countries are the most active shopping centre development markets, with Russia, Poland and Ukraine all showing strong development pipelines.

The UK has the largest shopping centre development pipeline in Western Europe with a total of 460,000 sq m of new space under construction and due be delivered over the next five years.

France has the second largest shopping centre pipeline with 409,000 sq m and Spain is slightly behind with 345,000 sq m.

Andrew Phipps, Head of UK & EMEA retail, CBRE said: “While levels of constructions are down slightly across EMEA in 2017, completions looks set for a stable 2018. Although in some areas oversupply remains an issue and leasing activity has proved more difficult, investors in these locations are continuously focusing on differentiating themselves from other centres by promoting the hospitality and leisure aspects of retail.”

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