Hot links: The week in Middle East retail property news

Publish Date: August 27, 2014


Here's a roundup of what local news sources are reporting about retail property in the Middle East.

• Majid Al Futtaim on major growth trackGulf Business Emirates-based Majid Al Futtain Properties has a new Dubai mall in the works, but it's not stopping there. The company plans to double its size by 2018, building malls in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as well as hypermarkets, cinemas and entertainment projects across the region.

• Dubai retail spending to reach $41B this yearArabian Business Retail consumers are expected to spend $41 billion on products and services this year, according to Colliers International. This would make the city the world's fourth-most popular retail destination in the world. Big draws for tourists are the upcoming Expo 2020 and the new Galleria Mall at Jumeirah Beach.

• Nakheel hires consultant for major mall projectArabian Business Developer Nakheel has hired engineering consultancy firm Dar Al-Handasah for its 2 million-square-foot retail-entertainment project in Dubai near the Jumeirah Village Triangle. The centre, which will include a supermarket, cinema and department stores, is scheduled for completion during the second quarter of 2017.

• Dubai Sports City adding retailArabian Business The $4 billion Dubai Sports City is adding a large portion of retail to its mix of uses. There will be two levels of retail totaling 250,000 square feet along a 1.2 kilometre man-made canal under development. Sports City also includes residential, office and several entertainment uses.

• Index: U.A.E. ranks fourth globally for shoppingAMEinfo The United Arab Emirates is the world's fourth-most-popular region for shopping, according to an AT Kearney report. Meanwhile, Colliers International says that Dubai's households spend an average of AED53,000 [$14,000] annually. Another study maintains that by the end of the year, retail in the city will be worth AED150 billion.

• Apple may have two U.A.E. stores plannedEmirates 24/7 Apple, which is hiring for positions in the Emirates, might have two stores planned for the kingdom — one in Dubai, the other in Abu Dhabi. Industry observers expect the Dubai store to open by the end of the year and possibly be the largest in the chain, topping its 71,700-square-foot unit in Madrid.

• Dubai Festival City set for renovationZawya While Al-Futtaim Group is building new malls in the Middle East, the company is also busy revamping its existing centres. The firm is revitalizing its Dubai Festival City Mall, with the intent of drawing more international flagship outlets to the centre. H&M is on board and will soon open a unit.

• Jockey opening 60 Middle East unitsEmirates 24/7 Underwear manufacturer Jockey International is planning 60 stores in the Middle East, including 10 in the Emirates alone. The company currently has three U.A.E. units and plans to open seven more there in the next 12 to 18 months. Its partner in the region is Yellow Flower Trading, which also distributes for Jockey in Asia.

• Carrefour first retailer in new BurJuman wingFresh Plaza Carrefour has opened a 5,780-square-metre store in the renovated north wing of BurJuman shopping mall in Dubai. The next major tenant scheduled to open its doors in the centre is a 14-screen Vox Cinemas theatre. Work started on BurJuman's renovation over a year ago.

• Back-to-school shopping surges in DohaGulf Times Back-to-school marketing is in full swing throughout the malls and hypermarkets in Qatar. Not only are the typical school supplies and uniforms selling, but there is also an increase in the sales of casual children's clothing and electronics. Popular action figures and cartoon-themed goods are helping to fuel shoppers' interest.

• JLL to manage retail in Dubai Metro stationsArabian Business Dubai's Road and Transport Authority hired commercial real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle to manage retail space in stations on its two public-transportation rail lines. The RTA's CEO said the appointment of JLL will enhance the mixture of retail brands and customer service at the stations.

• Metro station getting Carrefour unitRetail Business Review Carrefour is opening its first Dubai Metro station outlet by the end of the year at the Union Square stop. There are currently 197 stores on Dubai's Red and Green rail lines. Among them are Enoc Zoom, Marina Pharmacy and Masreq. But there is only a 77 percent occupancy rate at the stations currently.

• Kimonos sell big in Gulf nationsGulf News The summer's Kimono craze isn't just big in Europe and the United States. Retailers such as New Look are selling several of the garments in Bahrain, the Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Upper-end designer kimonos are selling for as high as AED2,982 [$812], while New Look has a AED95 version.

• Studio M hotel in Riyadh getting retailArabian Business Developer Waseel Properties is opening a Studio M hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during next year's second quarter that will include retail on its bottom floors. It is looking at Al Kohbar and Jeddah for future Saudi Arabia locations, as well as Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

•  Construction firm chosen for Jumeirah Islands retailGulf Business Developer Nakheel chose construction firm Metac General Contracting to build eight retail blocks totaling 37,500 square feet for a multi-use development in Dubai's Jumeirah Islands. The contract with Metac also includes the building of townhouses. The Jumeirah retail will include a supermarket, restaurants and cafes.

• Oman banning non-biodegradable plastic bagsZawya Oman's Environment Ministry plans to eliminate plastic bags from stores that aren't biodegradable by next year in efforts to reduce waste. An executive from the Environment Society of Oman says that consumers have non-plastic-bag choices at shopping centres, but fruit and vegetable sections still widely use them.

• Youth tapped for tourism ideasThe National A group of students, including individuals from royal families in Kuwait and Qatar, were hosted by Dubai's government to give ideas on how to increase the number of retail tourists. The students were specifically asked how they would publicize the annual Dubai Summer Surprises shopping event in their home countries.

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