Boost for Fujairah retail sector with new 160-shop mall to open

A new mall with 160 shops is set to open in Fujairah in September as the emirate boosts its retail sector.

About 80 per cent of the mall’s retail space is already leased. It will feature a Géant hypermarket and shops from the retail groups Azadea, Chalhoub Group and Apparel.

The complex also has a four-star Millennium Hotel, which is already operational.

The mall will have traditional Arabic goods, fashion stores such as Mango and Beverly Hills Polo Club, sporting names such as Athlete’s Co, and children’s shops that include Babycentre and The Children’s Place.

Other brands present include Damas les Exclusives, Nine West, Aldo, Charles & Keith and Skechers.

The mall will be managed by Aswaq Management and Services, which is a joint venture between France’s La Société des Centres Commerciaux, Sheikh Mohammed bin Suroor Al Nahyan and Nasser Al Nowais – the firm behind Abu Dhabi Mall, Bawabat Al Sharq Mall, Avenue at Etihad Towers, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Plaza in the capital.

The combination of a growing tourism sector, investment in infrastructure including roads and at the airport and the development of the free zone and oil storage hub, will help drive demand for retail in the emirate, according to Guillaume Darlix, Aswaq’s chief commercial officer.

“The mall’s catchment area has around 500,000 people,” he said. “There will be demand from residents in the city and also from people coming from outside. We are building for the future.”

Fujairah’s economy has been flourishing over the past few years, with economic output growing 7.7 per cent last year to reach Dh14 billion from Dh13bn in 2013.

Tourism is a major plank of the economy, with the number of hotel guests rising by 2.5 per cent to more than 707,000 last year versus in excess of 690,000 guests in 2013.

The number of hotels in Fujairah increased to 18 last year from 16, raising the number of rooms by 16 per cent to 2,639 from 2,279 in 2013. The room occupancy rate, however, fell to 59 per cent from 62 per cent in 2013 because of the increase in the number of rooms.

Trade is another sector that is growing owing to the increase of goods movement in the free trade zone.

Total foreign trade in Fujairah last year increased by 10.7 per cent to Dh16.5bn from Dh14.9bn a year earlier.

dalsaadi@thenational.ae

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