Abu Dhabi reportedly created the most retail space among all Gulf cities last year. An additional 1.8 million sqft of new retail stock was delivered in Abu Dhabi, while Dubai only absorbed 376,736 sqft of additional space during the period, according to CBRE figures. The new capacity pushed Abu Dhabi to the 18th spot among global cities in terms of new retail capacity.
Abu Dhabi’s standing has to do with the massive new mall capacities getting launched at regular intervals. Last year, The Galleria made its mark on the city’s retail landscape and this November it will be Yas Mall.
At the same time, new mall developments in Dubai were taking a breather over the last year and the focus instead was on expansion of existing facilities, including at The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. But now new retail capacity is once again on the agenda with Nakheel and Meraas are leading the way. Union Properties is another developer to have identified retail as a core focus for the immediate future.