The Red Sea Mall, Jeddah’s biggest shopping center and family entertainment district, formally announced the commencement of its largest expansion project in a special ceremony attended by VIP retailers, businessmen, influencers and members of the media at the Park Hyatt Hotel.
The ceremony was opened by Chairman of the Red Sea Mall Markets co. Ltd., Shaikh Saleh Bin Mahfouz, who welcomed the guests and announced the launch of the mall’s expansion project.
He enthused: “The Red Sea Mall’s 200 million expansion strategy is the largest mall expansion in Saudi Arabia. The expansion will add even more international brands and entertainment facilities, and underscores our unwavering commitment to enhancing the Red Sea Mall experience for our valued visitors and tenants.
Shaikh Saleh also expressed his deep appreciation to the Red Sea Mall community, various government agencies, and members of the media, for their valuable support, which he attributes to the mall’s growing popularity and continued success. In addition, he thanked the Red Sea Mall Market employees for their loyalty and hard work, and applauded the collaborative efforts of the myriad of companies who work within the Red Sea Mall, and who he says have helped the mall remain Jeddah’s premier shopping and entertainment hub.
Speaking at the ceremony, CEO of Red Sea Markets Co. Ltd., Mr. Mohammed Alawi, said the massive expansion was necessary in order to cater to the growing demand for commercial rental space. “There is a huge demand for commercial rental space at the Red Sea Mall. We have a long waiting list of potential tenants, and this list increases on average by 8% annually.”
Mr. Alawi added “The expansion will add around 145,000 square meters of Gross Leasable Area (GLA), including a 4,000 square meter open space that will showcase premier international brands as well as a variety of restaurants. In addition the expansion includes a new parking structure with 1,400 extra parking spaces for enhanced visitor comfort and convenience.”
The expansion, which has been carefully planned to ensure that retailers and visitors are not inconvenienced, is spearheaded for completion by the end of 2016.
Mr. Alawi concluded: “The Red Sea Mall expansion project will bring mall shopping, dining, leisure and entertainment to a whole new and exciting level!”
Middle East Council of Shopping Centers CEO, Mr. David Macadam stated during his speech at the ceremony: “The sophistication of the retail environments in Saudi has grown exponentially over the past ten years. Whereas the level of execution and operations were not as well done as other areas of the world, now Saudi Shopping Centers such as Red Sea Mall are among the most sophisticated shopping centers and retail environments in the world”.
“Demographics in the GCC are a key reason for the retail growth in the region. 65% of the population is below the age of 25. This age group are great consumers and will continue to be great consumers for the next 20 to 30 years which bodes very well for the retail industry”, Mr. Macadam Added.
“AT Kearney has forecasted a growth rate for retail in Saudi to be the highest in the GCC at 9.5% per year. The average growth rate for retail in the GCC is forecasted to be 5% to 7 % per year”, Mr. Macadam concluded.
It is worth mentioning that the first phase of Red Sea Mall’s expansion actually began last March, 2015, and the largest phase will start soon at gate number 1 and then gate number 9 without effecting the tenants operations nor the visitors visits within the mall’s areas.