Posted on August 09, 2013

Qatar’s retail real estate sector remains “relatively stable” despite continuing delays in construction “restricting” the growth in new mall space, according to DTZ, a global property service entity. Retail trade has grown by an average 14% per annum to QR39.4bn over the last five years on the back of a rising population and economic expansion, it said in a latest report.

Edd Brookes

Coupled with limited income tax liabilities, consumers in Qatar are considered to have one of the highest levels of disposable income in the world, driving high levels of private consumption and demand for retail space, it said. “DTZ forecasts that rental rates will remain relatively stable for the remainder of 2013 and into 2014,” according to Edd Brookes, its director.

The retail accommodation in Qatar – which is ranked as having one of the highest per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in the world – is divided among organised retail malls, high street showroom space and souq retail. The International Monetary Fund has estimated that Qatar’s per capita GDP reached $99,731 last year.

Total organised retail mall stock in Doha has risen from 510,000sqm at the end of 2012 to about 550,000sqm of gross leasable area, distributed across 11 main shopping malls, following the opening of Ezdan Mall in April this year, DTZ said. The organised mall is “dominated” by Villaggio and the City Centre malls, which together account for 46% of the total retail supply, the report said.

The majority of the retail space is fully occupied with waiting lists at the prime malls, it said, adding malls with units available are “usually selective” about the types of brands of retail they would permit. There are currently a further nine malls under construction and scheduled for completion before the end of 2016, according to DTZ.

“These projects will create in excess of 1mn sqm of additional retail space,” it said. At Landmark, City Center and Villaggio shopping mall headline rentals range from QR225 to QR275 per sqm per month for standard units, the report said. Barwa Commercial Avenue, which is in the process of being completed, will increase retail showroom supply by about 250,000sqm, it added.

DTZ estimates that this equates to a 25% increase in total retail showroom stock across Doha although it found that reportedly in excess of 60% of the units have already been committed by retailers. Rents for retail showroom space typically range from QR125 to QR200 per sqm per month, depending upon location, profile and size of the unit, it said.

source: Gulf Times