Mall space across Dubai and Abu Dhabi is set to increase significantly within five years, even as retailers come under pressure from the strong US dollar.
The new developments will bring total mall space in the two cities to about 8 million square metres – the equivalent of more than 1,000 football pitches.
But that could raise concerns among some retailers already discounting goods heavily to attract shoppers.
“The decline of oil prices and a strengthened US dollar against many of the world currencies is affecting the overall spending of residents and tourists,” said Diaa Noufal, an associate partner for Middle East and North Africa research at Knight Frank and the author of the report.
The UAE already has one of the highest numbers of shops per capita in the world with 4.7 million square metres of shopping centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi alone.
In Dubai, Knight Frank calculates that the total amount of mall space will grow by 66 per cent from about 3 million square metres to 5 million square metres by 2020 as huge new malls such as a slew of new regional shopping centres come to the market. More info