The number of retail stores in Abu Dhabi is forecast to increase dramatically this year as developers finish projects and the capital migrates from single stores to mall-based shopping.
A total of 260,000 square metres of retail space is expected to be completed this year in Abu Dhabi on top of 1.67 million sq metres currently available in the capital, according to the property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle.
"With many new retail centres scheduled to enter the market before 2013, rents are expected to remain stable in the short term but may soften in the medium term," Jones Lang LaSalle said in a December report on the retail market in Abu Dhabi.
Single-store retail currently dominates the landscape in Abu Dhabi, occupying about 54 per cent of retail space, while larger shopping centres such as Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall and Dalma Mall make up 38 per cent.
But the contribution from malls is to grow this year as builders are scheduled to hand over three malls: Paragon Bay Mall on Reem Island; Capital Mall in Mohammed Bin Zayed City; and Deerfields Town Square in Al Bahia.
New, smaller developments such as Etihad Towers, Galleria at Sowwah Square and Emporium at Central Market are also forecast to open.