Abu Dhabi – A Shopper’s Paradise

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Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi.
Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi. Photo-Hamad

Abu Dhabi is fast joining the ranks of top global cities known for offering endless shopping options to tourists and other visitors. This was revealed in a new report via a study conducted by property advisory firm CBRE and covers major metropolitan cities of the world. With an estimated 0.8 million square meters of retail space under the construction over the next four years, Abu Dhabi has been ranked among the top 10 global cities for shopping centre development and with it’s ninth-place ranking, follows seven Chinese cities, Istanbul and Kuala Lumpur.

After a period of significant undersupply, where many of the major malls have been running at close to 100 per cent occupancy, we are now entering into a new growth period for retail stock. We are also expecting an influx of new retail brands, some of which will be opening their first stores in the region.” — Mat Green, head of research UAE, CBRE Middle East

Some major shopping developments and mega malls are expected to open within the next couple of years in the UAE. In the fourth quarter of this year, the Dhs700 million Deerfields Townsquare on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi is expected to start welcoming visitors. The mall will feature 180 stores and is expected to attract 12 million people during its first 12 months of operation. The Galleria at Sowwah Square on Al Maryah Island is another mall which will open in the second half of the year.

Compared to 2012, there has been a 15 percent increase in shopping center space under construction. About 32 million square metres of shopping centre space is currently under construction all over the world. Most of the activity is taking place in developing markets, with China accounting for more than half of all the space under construction. Activity in the developing markets is led by a growing middle class, urbanization of large cities and consumer demand for better quality retail.

Other major cities on the list include Istanbul, Moscow, St Petersburg, New Delhi, Kiev, Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur.

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