MADRID (Reuters) – Property developer Nakheel expects to sign more deals to build shopping malls outside its base of Dubai, its chairman told Reuters, as its home market matures and development picks up in other parts of the United Arab Emirates.
Nakheel, the developer of the palm shaped islands off Dubai, this month agreed a deal to develop its first mall outside Dubai in Sharjah, the UAE’s third-largest constituent.
“We’re talking to other entities in the northern Emirates and other Emirates on new retail opportunities,” Ali Rashid Lootah said on the sidelines of the World Retail Congress in Madrid. “We signed one contract for retail in Sharjah and will be announcing more for other Emirates.”
The wealthy southern emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have traditionally attracted the largest and most glitzy real estate projects, but economic growth and demand from residents fleeing rising living costs in the south are starting to change that.
Lootah said there were still plenty of opportunities for developers despite weaker property market sentiment in the Gulf since mid-2014 as volatile oil prices prompted governments to cut spending. More