With positive government interventions to bring in more investors and diversify Bahrain's real estate market, retail remains a significant area of growth in the Kingdom's property sector. The renewed confidence amongst retail occupiers and retail developers is especially reflected in the fact that retail rents have remained stable over the last six months, according to leading international real estate consultancy, Cluttons.
Commenting on the Bahrain Winter 2017/18 Property Market Outlook, Faisal Durrani, Head of Research at Cluttons said, "Retail is playing a central role in helping various areas in the Kingdom realize their full potential, with residential tenants being drawn to areas that offer high levels of retail penetration. We have noted an upturn in the number of community retail developments in locations such as Juffair, while larger shopping malls, such as the BD 45 million 'The Avenues', are being seen as game changers for the Kingdom's retail scene.
We expect some 78,015 sqm of new retail space to be delivered across Bahrain this year, increasing to approximately 93,000 sqm in 2018 and in excess of a further 455,000 sqm by 2020. Separate to the development of retail malls, the Gulf's largest IKEA is on track to open next year at a cost of BD 47 million and is expected to create up to 600 new jobs."
Cluttons research highlights that the depth of developers' confidence in the sector is reflected in the fact that it is currently tracking 21 retail schemes, spread across more than 1.05 million sqm, at a total cost of over BD 277 million. All projects are due to be completed between now and the start of 2020.