More than 6.2 million m2 of retail development are expected to take up significant spaces across the GCC countries within the next five years, according to a recent report by Alpen Capital, which further sees the market to grow as much as USD313 billion by 2021 and constituting a major contributor to the region’s non-oil economic development.
The market confidence in Oman is hugely attributed to the country’s soaring economic growth, projected to rise to 2.9 percent this year from 1.1 percent in 2017. Among the GCC countries, Oman is seen as having the fastest growing economy with tourism being one of the key components as arrivals are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 13 percent between this year and 2021, according to a report by Colliers International. Retail space expansion has been going on in recent years as major developers flock the Sultanate to set up shops, mostly from pan-GCC retailers and large-scale malls taking up new spaces in cities such as Muscat, Sohar and Nizwa.
Shaikh Raid Bin Abdullah Al Araimi, vice chairman, Al Raid Group, noted, “One can owe the success of Oman’s retail sector to the country’s economic diversification strategy which focusses on retail and tourism as among the key drivers for growth. We are keen to support the country’s move and we have witnessed the government’s efforts in moving towards the sector’s further expansion. Our major projects in the retail sector seek to be innovative are uniquely designed to bring about a combined retail and leisure experience to mall visitors.”