New construction boom expected in Dubai’s retail sector


The largest volume of investments in decade to be put in Dubai retail sector’s developments.

Throughout the last decade, Dubai sought to position itself as the global best destination for shopping and entertainment. And now, in the run-up to the Expo 2020 local developers have decided to further increase the pace of delivering new retail projects in Dubai adding a number of new malls, shopping centers and retail districts to those already open.

It might seem that Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping mall, can meet all the demands of all possible goods consumers coming to Dubai for shopping. However, the success of other retail centers operating in Dubai suggests the opposite: retail sector still has got space for growth in all senses.

“The UAE is an incredibly dynamic market that is constantly evolving. This kind of environment is a fantastic driver of originality and innovation, where we look to surprise and delight our customers who have very high expectation,” said Steven Cleaver, director at Al-Futtaim Group.

Therefore, a record amount of investments in the last ten years ,totaling USD4 billion, is expected to be put in malls construction in Dubai throughout 2017. It's a giant leap compared with investments made in previous years: last year developers invested USD502 million in retail projects, while USD812 million were poured in the sector a year before, according to MEED (Middle East Economic Digest) Projects.

Among the projects set to be launched in 2017 for retail purposes is the first phase of Dubai Holding’s USD1 billion Mall of the World, the biggest global shopping center of its kind. Other major construction contracts set to be awarded for retail property developments this year include Emaar’s Dubai Hills mall (USD763 million) and a whole retail district in Dubai Creek Harbour (USD1 billion), as well as Nakheel’s Deira Island mall (USD900 million).

However, according to Gaith Shocair, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Shopping Malls, “the successful development of shopping malls is not simply a case of build it and they will come. It is highly complex.” Developers should better keep “pushing the boundaries and going above and beyond expectations,” Steven Cleaver added.

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