Oman’s real estate market continues to be heavily impacted by its young demographic, with retailers, in particular, actively tailoring their offerings to meet the needs and aspirations of the Sultanate’s youth, according to JLL, a professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management
Developers are increasingly modernizing Oman’s retail sector to drive footfall and spend as supply is moving towards large malls with unique concepts and diverse leisure and entertainment offerings. The Mall of Muscat, working with JLL as an exclusive leasing agent, showcases an industry move towards entertainment focussed and experience-led retail destinations that target a growing younger population.
“A number of factors are driving Oman’s retail sector; in particular, the opportunities presented by the evolved demands of the youth population. That, coupled with growth levers, is expected to boost demand in the long run despite the sector’s performance being challenged,” said Dana Williamson, Head of Retail, Offices and Business Space for MENA at JLL.
Built by Al Jarwani Group, the recently opened Mall of Muscat is a 200,000 sq m shopping centre, home to the Oman Aquarium – the largest one in the Middle East. The mall also boasts a snow park, the first of a new generation of real snow and ice indoor amusement parks, as well as go-karting tracks, a diverse retail and F&B mix, among other hospitality focussed experiences.
“In line with the regional move towards more experience-led retail offerings, there is an opportunity for developers to introduce new entertainment concepts and strategies to increase footfall and spend, and to specifically cater to the young target audience in the Sultanate. The newly opened Mall of Muscat showcases a modernized retail mix focussed on enhancing the consumer experience,” Dana continued.
JLL worked with Al Jarwani Group to provide international-standard leasing and management services for the Mall of Muscat, achieving a significant 85% occupancy to date. In the role as a key advisor, JLL leveraged industry expertise, forecasted retail demand, and worked with the Group on lease terms, phasing, negotiations, the tenant mix adjustment and financial feasibility.