Oman primed for retail boom

The Sultanate's retail sector can significantly contribute to GCC retail growth, thanks to shifting consumer demands and a tourism influx

Mina Al-Sultan Qaboos.
Mina Al-Sultan Qaboos.

Oman’s retail sector is well placed to take advantage of the influx of tourists in the country, as well as shifting lifestyle dynamics from its residents, according to Al Raid Group.

The Omani real estate developer said the increasing demand among young markets, “the growing interests of residents in new lifestyle experiences, as well as the influx of tourists entering the Sultanate of Oman” mean the country’s retail sector is positioned very well to significantly contribute to the GCC’s retail growth story.

The firm cited a recent report by Alpen Capital, which noted more than 6.2 million sqm of retail development is expected to take up “significant space across the GCC countries” in the next 5 years.

In its report, the US investment banking advisory firm also said it expects the GCC’s retail market to grow as much as $313 billion by 2021, with this segment acting as a “major contributor to the region’s non-oil economic development”.

READ: Al Raid to open $163m Westfield style mall in Oman

“The market confidence in Oman is hugely attributed to the country’s soaring economic growth, projected to rise to 2.9 per cent this year from 1.1 per cent in 2017,” Al Raid said, noting tourism too was expected to increase at an annual compound annual grow rate of 13% between 2018 and 2021.

Speaking on this positive news, Shaikh Raid Bin Abdullah Al Araimi, vice chairman at the Al Raid Group, said: “One can owe the success of Oman’s retail sector to the country’s economic diversification strategy which focuses on retail and tourism as among the key drivers for growth.

“We are keen to support the country’s move and we have witnessed the government’s efforts in moving towards the sector’s further expansion.”

READ: Oman's 'futuristic' 7ha Al Araimi Boulevard mall to open in Q3

In June, the developer announced the construction of its 7ha Al Araimi Boulevard mall is well under way.

Described by the group as a “futuristic mall”, the development is set to open in the third quarter of this year.

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