Developers are increasingly modernising Oman’s retail sector to drive footfall and spend as supply is moving towards large malls with unique concepts and diverse leisure and entertainment offerings, according to real estate consultancy JLL.
In a new report, JLL said Oman’s real estate market continues to be heavily impacted by its young demographic, with retailers in particular actively tailoring their offerings to meet the needs of the sultanate’s youth.
“A number of factors are driving Oman’s retail sector; in particular, the opportunities presented by evolved demands of the youth population. That, coupled with growth levers, is expected to boost demand in the long run despite the sector’s performance being challenged,” said Dana Williamson, head of Retail, Offices and Business Space for MENA at JLL.
Built by Al Jarwani Group, the recently opened Mall of Muscat is a 200,000 sq m shopping centre, home to the Oman Aquarium – the largest one in the Middle East. The mall also boasts a snow park, the first of a new generation of real snow and ice indoor amusement parks, as well as go-karting tracks.
“In line with the regional move towards more experience-led retail offerings, there is an opportunity for developers to introduce new entertainment concepts and strategies to increase footfall and spend, and to specifically cater to the young target audience in the sultanate. The newly opened Mall of Muscat showcases a modernised retail mix focussed on enhancing the consumer experience,” Williamson added.
JLL said it worked with Al Jarwani Group to provide leasing and management services for the Mall of Muscat, achieving a 85 percent occupancy to date.
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