With more than 800,000 square metres of shopping under construction the capital now ranks tenth on a list of cities globally for retail development.
Abu Dhabi to be next shopping destination for Middle East
Abu Dhabi ranks 10th on a list of cities globally with the most retail space under development.
The capital currently has more than 800,000 square metres of new shopping centre space under construction, according to research from the global property adviser CBRE. "After a period of significant undersupply, where many of the major malls have been running at close to 100 per cent occupancy, we are now entering into a new growth period for retail stock," said Matt Green, the head of research for the UAE at CBRE Middle East.
Over the next four years nine major projects will be delivered, establishing Abu Dhabi as "a new destination for retail in the Middle East", he said.
"During this period we will see a dramatic transformation of the retail landscape, both in terms of supply and quality. We are also expecting an influx of new retail brands, some of which will be opening their first stores in the region. Overall, we see this is an exciting time for retail in the capital," added Mr Green.
However, he said there would be room for them all, as they vary in size, targeting different audiences.
"The nine new centres [range] from 20,000 sq metres all the way up to [more than] 200,000 sq metres, so these are going to service different needs within Abu Dhabi."
Projects due to be completed this year include The Mall at World Trade Centre, a shopping centre with 60,000 sq metres of leasable space in downtown Abu Dhabi and The Galleria, a 50,000 sq metres luxury shopping centre on Al Maryah Island.
Yas Mall, which is set to become the UAE's second-largest shopping centre at 235,000 sq metres, is to follow in next year's first quarter.
Dubai, in 36th place, is the only other GCC city on the top 50 of the CBRE list.
Seven of the top 10 markets with the most retail schemes under development are in China. Other cities experiencing substantial expansion include Istanbul, Moscow, St Petersburg, New Delhi, Kiev, Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur.