New developments have significantly increased the quality of retail space in Qatar, Alpen Capital said in a report.
Qatar’s supply of organised retail space exceeded 1.5mn sq m of gross leasable area (GLA). The most recent retail developments in the country include Abu Sidra Mall and The Galleria, both of which opened partially but are yet to reach full capacity.
While there has been an increase in leasing activity and lease renewals, the impact of the pandemic led to more than 600 retail units within Doha’s 20 largest retail malls being vacant, representing a vacancy rate of approximately 20% by the end of 2021.
The second half of 2021 saw an increase in leasing activity in City Centre Mall, Doha Festival City, and Mall of Qatar. While some of the major malls witnessed strong footfall and maintained full occupancy during the year, increasing competition and the challenging retail environment affected the performance of others. There was strong growth in retail performance in many of Qatar’s major malls with retail spending in these developments up by 10% to 20% y-o-y at the end of 2021.
The opening of newer malls such as Place Vendome and the upcoming Commercial Boulevard, both in Lusail, are focusing on higher quality restaurants, entertainment, and leisure to complement their retail offerings.
The recently opened Place Vendome, with a GLA of approximately 230,000sq m, is the third super-regional mall in Qatar after Mall of Qatar and Doha Festival City and the first major mall to open in Qatar since Tawar Mall in 2018.
As of H1, 2022, supply of organised retail space within malls in Qatar reached 1.7mn sq m, reflecting an increase of 160% since 2015. Other upcoming retail developments in Qatar include Doha Oasis, 04 Mall, Waddan Mall, and the MENA District in Doha Port.
Most of these projects are expected to complete during 2022, Alpen Capital said and noted: “Some of the busier malls have phased out rental incentives as footfall and retail spending continues to recover after the Covid-19 related restrictions have been eased.”
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