Oman's retail sector to see 33% growth in 18 months

Cluttons says five new developments will add 100,000 sq m of shops to country's offering
Oman's retail sector to see 33% growth in 18 months
An artists impression of the Opera Galleria in Muscat
By Andy Sambidge
Sun 16 Oct 2011 07:06 PM

Oman's retail offering is set to grow by a third over the next 18 months with the sector being boosted by a rise in disposable incomes in the sultanate, a report said on Sunday.

Cluttons, the real estate specialist, said five retail developments were currently under construction that will deliver an additional 100,000 sq m of retail space, adding to the 300,000 sq m already available in Oman.

Cluttons said the market expansion was being facilitated through rising oil prices in the first half of 2011 and the resulting rise in national revenues and Government income.

"This has had a positive effect on both personal incomes and the private sector as a whole," the report said.

Upcoming openings include the 60,000 sq m Grand Mall in the Tilal Complexa mixed-use development in Al Khuwair, and the 6,500 sq m Royal Opera House Mall.

Cluttons said the Grand Mall will be the largest and most significant retail mall opening since Muscat City Centre in 2001.

"Despite the global downturn, there is a continuing strong demand for smaller retail spaces, especially from within the food & beverage sector," the report said.

"Demand also remains good for established shopping centres but concerns do exist over the popularity of some of the newer retail malls which are performing below expectations," it added.

The retail sector has traditionally been constrained by the country’s relatively low levels of disposable income per capita.

But recent statistics from the Ministry of National Economy indicate that salaries in the private sector have seen significant increases in the first half of 2011.

Cluttons said it predicts that this increased level of disposable income will be of significant benefit to the performance of the retail sector.

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