Qatar, UAE, Saudi lead retail expansion
Dubai, December 9, 2013
Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia are leading the way for international retail expansion, according to a recent study.
The Retail International Programme Expansion Index compiled by leading built asset consultancy EC Harris, ranked 48 major international markets as per five factors that have an impact on successful retail expansion.
These included quality of infrastructure; capability of the construction supply chain; legal framework; quality of project delivery and business environment.
Qatar topped the region ranking seventh, while the UAE moved to the 11th position this year from last year's 15, and Saudi Arabia was placed at 13th, according to the index.
With high-end retail developments across the Middle East becoming increasingly more attractive for both residents and visitors from around the world, the industry is now one of the most important sources of economic growth in the Middle East, said the study.
Due to a reputation for efficient project delivery and ease of transition, Middle Eastern markets are proving increasingly attractive to international retailers and are set to become strong contenders to the Western markets, it said.
Terry Tommason, head of Property, Middle East at EC Harris, said: “Retailers are increasingly seeing the benefits of expanding their businesses into Middle Eastern markets with its strong consumer base, high levels of wealth and established construction market.
Qatar is proving particularly attractive as new shopping centre developments are allowing retailers to realise their expansion ambitions - the country currently provides approximately 300 sq m of organised retail accommodation per 1,000 people while most European countries have an average of 200 sq m.
The Bric nations, however, lagged behind despite China’s emergence as one of the world’s largest consumer markets. The country remains around the midpoint of the index at 23rd place, though above the other Bric countries – Brazil, India and Russia, the report added. - TradeArabia News Service