Abu Dhabi overtakes Dubai as top city for new shopping malls

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Abu Dhabi has overtaken Dubai as the Middle East’s most active city for mall development, with nine large retail projects currently under construction.

The UAE capital currently has 825,000 square meters of mall retail space in the pipeline, according to the property advisory firm CBRE.

That places it tenth in a ranking of the world’s top cities for shopping mall construction, ahead of Dubai at 25th place.

“In the Middle East, Abu Dhabi has taken over from Dubai as the most active development market in the region, with 825,000 sq m under construction in nine schemes,” CBRE said in a report on mall development.

“Both cities have seen huge growth in their retail economies due in part to the boom in shopping centre development but also to the rapidly expanding tourist industry. More recently, new shopping centres have become larger with leisure attractions becoming an increasingly important part of the mix.”

Shopping centres currently under construction in Abu Dhabi include Yas Mall, The Mall at World Trade Centre, and The Galleria on Al Maryah Island. Dubai already boasts some of the world’s largest shopping centres, include the Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates.

Globally, around 32 million square meters of shopping center space is currently under construction in 180 major cities, representing a year-on-year increase of 15 percent, CBRE said.

Chinese cities dominate the ranks of the most active markets for mall development, accounting for half of all shopping center space currently under construction.

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