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Qatar’s retail spending expected to reach over $15 billion in 2023

Qatar boasts an extensive retail landscape with over 2.1 million sq m of leasable space

Qatar’s retail spending expected to reach over $15 billion in 2023
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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Qatar’s economy has experienced steady growth, driven by abundant natural gas reserves and strategic investments across industries. This expansion has resulted in growing disposable incomes, heightened consumer spending, and an increasing demand for retail experiences.

According to a new report, Qatar’s retail sector is set to witness a surge in spending, with projections reaching $15.6 billion in 2023. This growth is fueled by many factors: a growing influx of tourists, a resilient economy, and the presence of international retail brands.

Cushman & Wakefield’s research unveils an extensive leasable area in the kingdom, surpassing 2.1 million square meters. Primary organized retail centers, excluding additional units in supermarket buildings, cover 1.7 million square meters. Additionally, ‘outdoor’ retail and F&B spaces contribute an extra 400,000 square meters of leasable space.

These zones include The Pearl, Souq Waqif, Souq Al Wakra, Msheireb Downtown, Katara, Doha Port, and Lusail Boulevard. 

“Several retail developments continue to attract healthy footfall and benefit from high occupancy rates; however, many older malls or recently opened projects still struggle to attract footfall, impacting rental levels and occupancy,” the report notes.

Qatar’s retail occupancy rate has dipped to around 80%, leading malls to introduce incentives to attract tenants. Despite increased retail sales and high disposable incomes, a softening demand for retail space is observed, primarily attributed to retailer consolidation.

Despite these challenges, Qatar maintains its appeal as a retail destination, with monthly prime mall rents ranging from $55 to $68 per square meter. Anchor units and entertainment spaces have lower rental rates, while smaller convenience retail outlets are typically leased for $1,373 to $2,746 per month.

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