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Shopping maul

Shopping maul

Are the Gulf’s over-the-top retail centers doomed? Trends magazine reports.

April 11, 2010 4:20 by

To do that, though, takes several years to renovate and redecorate so it suits the direction. The second thing the mall can do is rent retailer “animation space.” So the retailer would agree that a special event – such as a make-up artist – would come only to their venue in one mall and in return the mall would rent the entertainment space at a reduced rate or give it to the retailer for free. Ultimately, however, this may help pull more customers into the stores, but it does little to increase the size of consumer spending.

Several owners and developers now say that governments and local authorities should play a greater role in planning real estate developments.

“Dubai now has reached a critical level of retail property supply and they have to invest in the existing ones, reduce their production, and develop any kind of possible means of security in their resident populations,” Bouyer says. Governments should be attracting visitors from cash rich areas of the Middle East and “motivating resident populations to keep their wealth within the country and to increase their annual consumer spend within the U.A.E.,” he says.

In the days of rapid real estate development there was little consideration for the long term, according to Al Retaj Holding’s Al Shaer. “This is the same as you are planning to give approval to build 100 hotels and you know there is no demand for it,” he says. “We have to check the demand. We need everybody to plan it right.” Al Shaer says the authorities in Bahrain work closely with existing shopping center owners to ensure new developments do not cannibalize existing retail.

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