By Elizabeth Broomhall
Emirate’s first major retail centre says bulk of stores leased ahead of H1 launch
Operators of Fujairah’s first major mall are unlikely to increase rents to tenants before 2013, said a senior official at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, the developer behind the shopping centre.
Fujairah City Centre has priced its rents on a similar scale to those seen in Dubai - which are among the highest in the Middle East - but has cut lease costs in some cases in an attempt to secure top brands, said Ali Al Abdulla.
“We are always looking to the demand. If the demand is high, then we don’t need to reduce rents,” said Al Abdulla, senior director for community centre development. “If demand is low, we keep them down. But generally, I can say [rents are] similar or less than Dubai.”
Some 99 percent of the mall’s units have already been leased, he said.
Tenants will include Carrefour, perfume and cosmetics retailer Paris Gallery, and a Centrepoint store housing Landmark brands Splash, Lifestyle, Shoe Mart and Babyshop.
Other brands who have invested in the mall include high-street brands H&M, New Look, Aldo, and Steve Madden, in partnership with their local franchisees.
Asked if rents would increase in 2012, Abdulla said it was unlikely, but said the firm would reconsider its options further down the line if the demand remained high.
“We are still studying the market. For next year, I don’t think so. Normally, [increases] would be after negotiation with the tenant,” he said. “Everybody complains that rents are high, but they are renting. They don’t want to leave. The tenants always need an excuse to get something else.”
Fujairah City Centre is scheduled to open in the first half of 2012, adding 30,000 sq m of leasable space to the emirate’s underserved retail sector. More than 35 percent of the mall’s 105 units will be clothing and accessory shops, alongside a Magic Planet entertainment centre.
The mall will also feature a Vox cinema, which is scheduled to open in the last quarter of 2012.
In the first year, mall operators are targeting of footfall of between 18,000 and 22,000 customers per day – the typical target for a mall in a new market, Abdulla said.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.