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The Middle East is home to some of the largest and most advanced malls in the world, said experts at the recent RECon shopping conference in Dubai.
"Investors are now looking at MENA, especially Dubai, as a great opportunity. It's a good place to invest and build because prices have come down, but also the growth has never slowed in terms of tourism consumers from around the world want to come here to shop," Michael Kercheval, president and CEO of International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) told Gulf Business.
The figures say it all. Dubai Mall, the flagship development of Emaar Properties, hosted approximately 31 million visitors in the first six months of the year.
The 2.5 million sq ft Mall of the Emirates, which welcomed over 20 million visitors in the first half of the year, earns $1,423 per square foot per annum, according to ICSC. The mall is nearly three times more profitable per square foot than the industry average.
A report by construction expert Emporis earlier this year also highlighted the economic and retail boom in Asia. Nine out of 10 of the world's biggest shopping malls are located in Asia, said the report.
The company generated the top 10 rankings based on the gross leasable area, the area used for revenue-generating activities. Here are the world's biggest malls.
Gulf Business checks out 10 of the biggest malls that are coming up across the Middle East and North Africa region over the next few years.
Dubai-based Emirates is the only Middle Eastern airline to make the list of the world's biggest global carriers by capacity.
The store will feature cycling and running areas and a 10-metre volcano-shaped climbing unit
Dubai ranks 75 among 140 countries on the annual list compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit