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Qatar’s retail sector set for major boost

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Higher salaries, as well as an increased choice for shoppers, are set to drive growth in Qatar’s retail industry. That’s even despite the fact that mall operators are finding themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

According to a report by Oxford Business Group, lender Alpen Capital has estimated that the Gulf country is set to lead the way in retail sales growth in the near term, and it’s all thanks to Qatar’s fast-growing population and new projects. The size of Qatar’s retail trade, restaurants and hotel sector grew by 15.8% in 2013, reaching $12.5 billion.

On a wider regional level, however, the UAE still leads the way, with Dubai home to 30% of total Middle East luxury sales – estimated at 7.6% YOY to $52.1 billion in 2013.

Looking at the future, the bank predicts that retail sales in the Gulf country will increase by a compound annual growth rate of 9.8% through to 2018, compared with a rate of 6-to-7% across other countries in the region.

Qatar’s leasable mall retail space is expected to reach approximately 954,000sqm by the end of 2015, rising to 1.8million sqm.

“While retail sales growth across all the GCC countries is expected to remain positive between 2013 and 2018, the outlook for Qatar is most optimistic,” the report concluded.

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