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Gains in Bahrain’s retail sector demonstrate market confidence

Bahrain retail sector

March 2015

The retail sector has generally outperformed other asset classes during 2014, with a rising number of new centres being delivered and launched, according to the Q4 2014 Bahrain MarketView by global property consulting firm CBRE. There has also been a growing trend for provision of community retail shopping complexes, which provide convenience and services to residential areas.

“Despite Bahrain being a small market geographically, demographics and traffic congestion has led to a need for local retail, as well as food and beverage options. This shift has spurred the progress of new developments at Muharraq, Isa Town and Riffa,” said Steve Mayes, Director, Middle East Research, CBRE Bahrain.

According to the report, the opening of Seef Mall Muharraq, in early 2015, has enjoyed significant success to date with a high percentage of the mall pre let.

True international standard Grade A commercial office space is limited to a small number of key landmark developments in the Kingdom. These properties are currently dictating the benchmark for office rents.  Despite the prevailing oversupply situation across the wider market, there has been no notable change in the average quoted rates during the past quarter.

Continued steady growth in demand, however, has been witnessed for smaller, fitted office units, which provide turnkey solutions for risk adverse local and international occupiers seeking cost effective options.

“Some enterprising landlords of newer towers in the more local Grade A category are adapting to the prevailing market conditions in an attempt to meet the demands of various occupier types within their buildings.  This ever more popular approach provides a variety of options through sub sectioning buildings, with floors dedicated to smaller fitted units sub 150 m2 and larger shell and core spaces for those businesses seeking such accommodation built to their own requirements,” added Mayes.