«Majid Al Futtaim Real Estate»: During the first quarter
14% jump in consumer spending in the retail sector
Fouad Sharaf: "Indicators for 2022 confirm better performance than 2021."
Fouad Mansour Sharaf, Director General of Shopping Centers in the Emirates, at "Majid Al Futtaim Real Estate Corporation", confirmed that the activities of the "Expo 2020 Dubai" exhibition have greatly restored momentum to the shopping centers in Dubai, and also returned shopping activity rates to levels before the "Covid-" pandemic. 19”, revealing a 14% jump in consumer spending in the UAE in the field of retail during the first quarter of 2022.
He added that the positive effects of the "Expo" are currently appearing in the markets, as it has boosted consumers' confidence in the large demand for shopping centers, whether from visitors or residents, especially in light of the implementation of the necessary safety measures.
He indicated during a press conference held by the Foundation in Dubai yesterday, that the pandemic has significantly changed the behavior of consumers in shopping patterns, especially with regard to reducing reliance on cash, increasing purchase trends through credit cards, phones and smart watches, in addition to expanding the use of electronic shopping technologies. .
He revealed that occupancy rates in Majid Al Futtaim's shopping centers in the UAE, which are currently 18 nationwide, ranged between 95 and 98%, noting that sales and numbers of visitors to some shopping centers returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Sharaf said that the indicators for the year 2022 confirm better performance than the year 2021.
He stated that the Saudization rates in the shopping centers of "Majid Al Futtaim Real Estate" are on the rise, as it recently announced the localization of about 3,000 jobs during the next five years.
Sharaf pointed out that the idea of “saturation” in retail spaces in the UAE is currently out of the question, for several reasons, the most important of which are: the population increase, and the consolidation of the position of the state and the city of Dubai, regionally and globally in the shopping sector, while remaining for shopping and retail centers that provide the best for tenants and visitors, in terms of Quality of services and added value.
He added that a voting campaign for the "City Center" shopping centers was recently launched, to involve shoppers in the decision-making process, and to meet their requirements in the shopping centers, noting that so far the opinions of more than 10,000 individuals have been surveyed, with the aim of forming and defining the mechanism of development and growth for each of the malls. "City Center" shopping centers of the respective communities.
He stressed that the campaign will communicate with various local community groups, companies, businessmen and university students, to help City Center shopping centers establish more connected community centers in the future, pointing out that this will be followed by launching the campaign in other markets, including Oman and Bahrain. Egypt, and Lebanon.
Sharaf continued, "We witnessed a 14% jump in retail consumer spending in the first quarter of 2022 in the UAE, compared to the same period in 2019, which indicates that the country's economy in the post-pandemic period continues to recover strongly." Although the economic recovery is proceeding on a steady basis, there are still challenges, foremost of which is inflation.
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