Qatar's Retail Sector
Shopping Malls in Qatar
Contribution of the Wholesale and Retail sector towards the GDP of Qatar
About Qatar's Retail Sector
Qatar’s wholesale and retail trade expanded at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.6% between 2012 and 2017 to $27 billion, or 8.7% of GDP. Wholesale and retail experienced growth of 76.1% in 2017 alone as oil prices rose and the economy picked up.
GCC consumers are among the largest spenders on luxury items, outpacing their European counterparts by almost 10-fold, the report found. As such, luxury goods is a segment with significant potential. Luxury-related expenditure has been strong as the population expanded, living standards raised, tourist numbers increased and infrastructure improved.
In recent years investors have expected above-average growth in demand for retail space due to rising consumer purchasing power and a projected increase in business and recreational travel prompted by the hosting of global sporting events such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup. As such, investors have poured capital into new retail space, which has translated into a plethora of new shopping malls opening around the country. This trend was further reinforced by the government’s decision to open real estate ownership to non-nationals in 10 different zones across Doha and to allow for 99-yearlong property lease contracts in 16 additional zones. Law No. 16 of 2018, the freehold ownership law that came into effect in March 2019, opened up the market to much larger foreign involvement, along with a new framework for FDI that offered a number of tax exemptions, from income tax to import levies, for new projects supported by FDI.
Qatar had a total of 1.9 million square meters of organized retail space by the end of 2019, a considerable increase from the 1.6 million square meters at the end of 2018. Between 2015 and 2018 the country added 688,700 square meters of retail space.
Some of the largest malls in Qatar are the Villaggio Mall, City Center Mall, the Gate Mall, Lagoona Mall, Doha Festival City, Mirqab Mall, Gulf Mall, Al Hazam Mall, and Mall of Qatar. The Mall of Qatar is the biggest mall in Qatar, with 5.4 million square feet of retail space and 520 shops.
All of these malls include top of the line retail shops from all of the world, as well as some of the region’s and Qatar’s top brands, such as QELA, Qatar’s luxury label, and Pharmakeia an organic beauty and wellness boutique. There is also Souq.com, the largest e-commerce site in the Middle East.