THE RETAIL INDUSTRY IS EVOLVING RAPIDLY, AND IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE RETAIL FACILITY EXECUTIVES TO UNDERSTAND THIS EVOLUTION. THIS GROWTH PROVIDES GREAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR TODAY’S RETAIL FACILITIES MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONALS TO DEMONSTRATE THEIR EXPERTISE AND HELP THEIR COMPANIES AND THE INDUSTRY EXCEED CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS. HERE IS A LIST OF KEY MALL DEVELOPMENTS IN THE REGION TO HELP THEM GET AN INSIGHT INTO THE PROJECTS.
How would one best describe the Middle East? Luxurious, Opulent, Gigantic, Over-the-top are probably a few adjectives that one would hear. This interpretation has largely to do with the humungous structures in the Middle East. The bigger the better as a concept seems to be the norm for majority of the regions structures, breaking records along the way. A big part of the Middle East’s grandeur has to do with its malls.
According to the Alpen Capital retail report, The size of the GCC retail sector is expected to grow by 25 percent, from $250.5 billion (AED919.33bn) in 2016 to $313.2bn (AED1.15 trillion) by 2021, driven by economic and population growth, and increase in tourist arrivals.
According to Fahad Kazim, vice president, Meydan Malls, “A strong contributor to the growth of the sector is proactive initiatives taken by the government in streamlining the retail infrastructure and strengthening the investments and tourism landscape of the region.” According to Sameena Ahmad, Managing Director, Alpen Capital (ME) Limited, “The GCC retail sector continues to remain an active contributor to the region’s economic development. Although the sector is experiencing a slowdown, the long-term fundamentals of the sector remain strong and are expected to grow steadily through 2021. A favorable demography, high per capita income and an active tourism industry have attracted renowned international retail brands to the GCC. Changing consumer preferences and proliferation of digital devices are further reforming the region’s retail landscape. The numerous mall developments in the pipeline and growing penetration of modern store formats are a testament to immense opportunities in the sector. Furthermore, government efforts to encourage foreign investments, to strengthen tourism infrastructure and prevent entry of counterfeit products are lending impetus to the GCC retail sector.”
It is important for the retail facility executives to understand this evolution. This growth provides great opportunities for today’s retail facilities management professionals to demonstrate their expertise and help their companies and the industry exceed customer expectations. Here is a list of key mall developments in the region put together by Malls Middle East to help get an insight into the projects.
Overview: Al Maryah Central promises a new experience everyday. Located on the Al Maryah island, the mall will be home to top retail brands along with entertainment centers for families and children. The rooftop will have three urban parks along with an open amphitheatre.
Overview: Reem Mall, located on the Al Reem Island is slated for completion by late 2020. Along with having multiple retails outlets, it will be home to the world’s biggest indoor snow play park which is being developed by Majid Al Futtaim. The 125,000ft snow park will feature activities such as sledging, zorbing, and luge. Construction of the mall is going as per schedule.
Overview: The mall is a part of the Dubai Creek Harbour development. Along with having a multiplex, water park, sports arena, food and other retails outlets, the mall is offering a one of its kind digitized shopping experience. It includes immersive technology, Mobile apps, quick checkout solutions, click-and-collect services and more.
Overview: Deira Mall is located in the heart of Nakheel’s ambitious project Deira Islands. The mall’s star attraction is the 1 km-long retractable glass atrium which will bring in natural lighting and allow for an open-air shopping experience during cooler months. The mall is expected for completion by 2021.
Overview: The mall is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2022. It will be the country’s largest shopping and entertainment complex covering 866,000 square meters with its own indoor ski slope. It will also include 300,000 sqm of shops, restaurants and entertainment areas, prime residential units, offices and showroom space, luxury hotels, serviced apartment buildings and other public amenities.
Overview: The City Centre features 250 stores, a 9,000 square meters Carrefour hypermarket, a food court and an entertainment complex inclusive of Magic Planet. The key areas of the mall will be designed to create distinct precincts that flow into each other and create delightfully different experiences for the customers as they move from one to the other.
Overview: Scheduled to open in 2020, Mall of Oman will be the largest integrated leisure, retail and entertainment destination in Oman. It will feature firsts including Oman’s largest snow park, with an 8,000sqm play area, and a Little Explorers edutainment center.
Overview: The mall which is scheduled to open in the second half of 2020 has an indoor waterpark, trampoline park, snow village, ice-skating rink, virtual reality zone and cliff climbing adventure facility.
Overview: The entire mall will have an outdoor ambience with indoor streets covered by continuous skylights to provide natural light. The mall will have a unique resort style architecture which will incorporate traditional Arabic motifs. The mall’s façade will add to its identity providing a highly sustainable solution which filters light and provides shade.
Overview : The 360 Mall extension plan includes Grand Hyatt Hotel, additional shopping and leisure activities and the Sheikh Jaber Al Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah International Tennis Complex. The new complex will feature an approximate 1,550 m2 circular Vertical Garden by Patrick Blanc.