The outlook for the Saudi retail market looks promising for this year and beyond, according to a report by the real estate management firm JLL.
Saudi Arabia’s retail sector witnessed a marked increase in retail space and a robust recovery in domestic demand during the first half of the last year as the restrictions started to ease, the report shows.
Currently, Riyadh houses 3.3 million square metres of retail area, followed by Jeddah, which jumped from 16,000 to 1.7 million square metres and Makkah, which grew from 17,500 to 1.4 million square metres in the part of the last year.
With travel restrictions scrapped, Saudi Arabia is forecast to fulfil its goal of attracting 12 million foreign tourists, which will further bolster retail sales.
As the JLL’s latest Global Real Estate Transparency Index demonstrates, Saudi Arabia maintained its position in the top 50 global rankings, while also boosting its position at a regional level.
To ramp up its growth, Saudi Arabia also has designed ambitious retail projects as part of the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 that serves to reinvigorate the economy, diversifying beyond the real estate and infrastructure sectors.
Here is a rundown of some key retail-related projects that are hoped to jazz up the Saudi retail landscape.
The Bellevue, operated by Unified Real Estate & Development Company, is Riyadh’s largest mixed-use project which comprises shopping opportunities. The project will be a major retail and lifestyle hub, offering a hodgepodge of shopping options among others across more than 90,000 square metres of proposed floor space.
Shumoul Holding Co. (Shumoul), jointly owned by Kuwaiti developer Mabanee and Al Fozan Holding, is a mixed-use complex in Riyadh which is bound to include a large shopping mall. The first phase of the scheme was inaugurated last year, with the company confirming the scope of work for phase one of The Avenues.
Jawharat Jeddah mall
Jawharat Jeddah mall is bound to become one of the modern centres in the city of Jeddah, which aims to establish a diversified centre as a new destination for shopping with the latest international brands. Set to open in the first quarter of next year by developers Cenomi Centers, Jawharat Jeddah Mall will include a GLA of 87,145 square metres and house more than 200 stores.
Another mall being constructed by Cenomi Centers is Jawharat Riyadh, which is going to contain some of the most luxurious international brands. This shopping centre is being developed on a land area of 505,509 square metres and will have a GLA of 148,389 square metres. Set to open in the quarter of 2025, the mall will feature more than 350 international, regional and local brands.
North Riyadh Mall
Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim has inked an agreement with global infrastructure consulting firm AECOM to faciliate the development of the retailer’s North Riyadh Mall – the conglomerate’s Saudi flagship project, set to open in 2026. The mall is expected to consist of around 600 stores across 300,000 square metres of GLA. For now, half of the space has been reserved by retailers. North Riyadh Mall will also include a Carrefour hypermarket.
The Saudi Arabian government is set to construct a ‘new face of Riyadh’ – a 400-metre-high cube-shaped skyscraper named Mukaab which will be “one of the largest built structures in the world”. According to reports, it will contain two million square metres of shops. Besides, the wider development will contain more than 980,000 square metres of shops by 2030.