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A mall story

A mall story

The outlook for malls in the UAE is good, according to a new analysis report. But with so much new space coming online, can that be right? Kipp takes a look.

August 18, 2010 1:34 by

It’s all good if you’re a mall in the ‘hood, according to the Dubai Chamber. It has just released an analysis report indicating that Dubai’s retail sector has shown a high growth performance “thanks to the concept of modern retailing as well as high per capita income levels.”

It points to the opening of major malls Dubai Mall, the Arabian Centre and Marina Mall as evidence of the robust health of the industry, as well as the imminent arrival of the Mall of Arabia. It says sales at malls rose 17 percent during the Dubai Summer Surprises festival in 2009, with total revenues at 23 shopping malls across Dubai reaching AED1.49 billion, up from AED1.27 billion at the same shopping malls in 2008. “What is significant is that retailers have said that their sales during the 2010 DSS were up on 2009 levels,” says a press release. The value of retail sales is expected to grow by 3.6 percent in 2010, it says.

“As the UAE recovers from the effects of the global economic downturn, a pick-up in consumption levels as households have higher real disposable incomes (on the back of falling inflation), an easing in credit availability as well as an expected influx of tourists in the second half of this year and in 2011, will all encourage cash flow within the retail sector,” says the release.

That’s a relief, as Kipp was concerned about all the empty stores we see when we shop in the mall. Perhaps we are shopping at the wrong time.

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  1. Samantha on August 26, 2010 7:28 am

    We used to have disposable income – now we spend it all on food … is it just me or did the price of food skyrocket over the summer? No one should have to pay AED 19 for two slices of melon.

  2. Boza on August 29, 2010 9:21 am

    Where are you shopping for you melons Samantha

  3. Nigel on September 21, 2010 1:34 pm

    There are too many malls, with too few people. The appetitie for new things here means that the newer malls such as Dubai Mall and Mirdiff City Centre will take away from the older malls. Changing demographics mean some malls malls will thrive and others will suffer.
    I have closed seven of my stores in the last year. When Mall of the Emirates closed last year, sales were down 50% from 2008. I refused a rent increase and a demand by the landlord for me to fully refit my store. It has taken nealy a year for a new store to take my place.
    And rents are still rising. Ibn Battuta doubled my rent this year (from 2009) – it’s now empty!
    The amazing thing is that many retailers I know are complaining about hard times, but continue to accept rental increases.


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