Although the retail sector remains challenged with many upcoming super-regional malls, growth of e-commerce and change in consumer preferences in Riyadh, the sector is expanding rapidly and demand for retail space is growing with relaxation in certain rules, increase in demand for Family Entertainment Centres. There are a number of upcoming retail mall developments in the city which will increase the total mall based GLA. As such the current market preference is for large-scale malls for destination shopping & leisure experiences and strip centers for convenience retail needs and everyday dining.
There are many malls to be delivered in the coming years – Mall of Saudi, The Avenues Riyadh, City Centre Ishbiliyah, Al Wedyan, Mall of Arabia. Regional Malls currently account for 37% of the total GLA in Riyadh.
Source: GRC analysis
Source: GRC analysis
Unlike Dubai, which has higher ratio of super-regional malls, Riyadh currently has a low share of super-regional malls. Only 19% of the current retail mall supply are super-regional malls. Riyadh is lacking super-regional destination malls. However, in the coming four years, there are many super-regional malls planned. The Avenues – Riyadh is one such mall which is expected to commence operations in 2023 / 2024, located at a prime position overlooking the intersection of King Salman Road and King Fahad Causeway with a leasable area of 400,000 sqm. The project is expected to become one of the largest commercial malls in Saudi Arabia and will include hotels, residential apartments, medical facilities and offices.
One of the most important factors for any retail format is its accessibility to its visitors. The accessibility factor becomes even more important for destination assets; however, it is equally important when the competition within a close proximity of the asset is high. The mall has to be accessible to all residents alike, through different modes of transportation.
Finally, a key goal for Riyadh is to develop its regional leadership role and establish significant points of global influence, from hosting major Inter-Governmental, Sporting and Business events, to improving the city’s global appeal and resonance, while making steps forward in quality of life through major urban restructuring. Much of the infrastructure investment in public transport systems and green spaces has been intended to promote Riyadh’s liveability, affluence and status. And as such, Riyadh has recently hosted the U20 Summit and has also recently released a bid to hold the 21st Asian Games. This shows a great indicator for future development.