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Sat 5 Mar 2016 01:02 AM

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Saudi mall operator eyes major expansion over next two years

Arabian Centres says it is planning to open 11 more shopping malls in kingdom after opening Yasmin Mall in Jeddah

Saudi mall operator eyes major expansion over next two years

Arabian Centres, the developer, owner and operator of shopping malls in Saudi Arabia, has announced the opening of Yasmin Mall in Jeddah.

With a total gross leasable area of nearly 60,000 sq m, Yasmin Mall houses 210 retail outlets, including entertainment and leisure options.

Simon Wilcock, CEO of Arabian Centres said: "We are delighted to open our fifth mall in Jeddah and our 18th across the kingdom... With an estimated annual footfall of nine million, Yasmin Mall is a fantastic destination for retailers seeking to build or further expand their brand in the kingdom."

Arabian Centres said it is currently developing 11 other shopping malls in Saudi Arabia that range in size from 45,000 sq m to 165,000 sq m, with launches spanning from Riyadh to Dhahran.

Once completed by 2018, the new developments will double Arabian Centres' total portfolio to nearly 2 million sq m of gross leasable area, it added.

According to a recent report published by McKinsey, the retail sector in Saudi Arabia has the potential to double its productivity in the next 15 years and generate up to 800,000 additional jobs for Saudi nationals.

Additionally, the GDP contribution could grow by as much as $100 billion, it added.

Wilcock added: "By virtue of being the biggest retail market in the GCC, the demand for modern retail space in Saudi Arabia is very high. In part, this demand reflects significant growth opportunities that exist for retailers.

"The launch of our 18th shopping centre marks a significant step in the retail transformation strategy, and we look forward to completing 11 planned developments in the next two years."

Arabian Centres owns and operates four shopping centres in Jeddah. In the Western region, the developer also owns Al Noor Mall in Madinah, Makkah Mall in Makkah, and Jouri Mall in Taif.

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