DUBAI, U.A.E. – New shopping centers and expansions of existing facilities will soon make Abu Dhabi one of the most retail-concentrated cities in the world, according to a new report from London-based global property broker Cushman & Wakefield.
Abu Dhabi, the second largest city in the United Arab Emirates, is set to surpass Dubai’s per capita retail concentration by the year 2015 when its retail space doubles to nearly 1.8 million square meters. Presently, Abu Dhabi offers an estimated 936 square meters of shopping space per 1,000 residents. Dubai now offers more than any other city – approximately 1,400 square meters of shopping space per 1,000 people. The US has about 1,000 square meters per 1,000 people, and European countries have just over 200 square meters per 1,000 people. See prices on Abu Dhabi hotels.
While Dubai and most other major cities aren’t anticipating significant retail space expansion over the next five years, Abu Dhabi has plans for new shopping malls on the scenic Reem and Yas Islands. The Deerfields Town Square Center in Al Bahia, which broke ground in 2009, is slated for completion by mid-2011. All told, projects planned for the next five years will push Abu Dhabi’s retail concentration to nearly 1,700 square meters per 1,000 people. Right now there are great discounts on Dubai hotels due to the major tourism push.
According to Cushman & Wakefield, retail occupancy rates in Abu Dhabi presently hover around 90%. However, the new retail venues will likely saturate the market. That’s good news for renters as they begin entrepreneurial ventures, and it’s also good news for communities. As traditional malls become commonplace, market forces will encourage innovation. Community developers envision well-planned town centers that serve not only as places to shop, but also as places for fine dining and other leisure activities. To find low cost tickets on Dubai flights visit Dubai.com
The Abu Dhabi Mall is one example of a shopping center that’s becoming a town center. The mall opened in 2001 with 220,000 square meters of floor space. Today it features a range of family and corporate housing options in addition to more than 200 retail outlets and 40 restaurants. Private suites, one bedroom apartments, and two bedroom apartments are connected to the mall via private entrances. Beach views, a cafe, room service, and underground parking are among the residency perks. Meanwhile, attractions inside the mall including a major grocery, dozens of restaurants, a multiplex cinema, and a bowling alley. Additionally, artists regularly perform at the mall to help provide a higher cultural experience.