Posted by Bob Brunskill
Continuing growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) retail sector points to a move away from oil dependency in the region towards a diversified economy, a report has argued.
According to the GCC Retail Industry Report 2010 by Alpen Capital, the retail industry has been buoyed by factors such as healthy population growth, rising per capita income, a growing middle-class and a burgeoning travel and tourism sector.
"Moreover, the modern shopping malls anchoring state-of-the-art hypermarkets, highly developed free trade zones, various shopping festivals/events and favorable taxation provide further growth impetus to the sector," said the study.
Alpen noted that within the GCC, retail mall projects of about six million square meters of gross leasable area are currently underway and scheduled for completion by 2012.
Meanwhile, Vishal Mahajan, director of Dubai Outlet Mall, said this week that the shopping centre's huge discounts on high-end premium brands have been a key contributor to Dubai's growing reputation as "a shopper's paradise".