Quarterly Report Qatar Q3 2022: Retail Market Overview
Lusail Boulevard opens in Q3, providing a new type of retail destination in Qatar
Cushman & Wakefield estimate that organised (indoor) shopping malls now provide more than 1.7 million sq m of gross leasable area throughout Qatar. This supply is supplemented by destinations such as Souq Waqif, Msheireb Downtown, Katara Cultural Village and The Pearl-Qatar, all of which place a heavy emphasis on food and beverage outlets and provide more than 300,000 sq m of gross leasable area.
Lusail Boulevard is the most recent addition to Qatar’s retail market, with several tenants opening their doors in Q3. Lusail Boulevard runs from the Lusail Towers to Lusail Stadium and is expected to be fully operational in time for the FIFA World Cup in November.
Over the coming months, developments such as Doha Oasis (Printemps), Waddan Mall, Giardino Mall and MINA District at Doha Port are expected to open, which will increase supply by more than 80,000 sq m.
Occupancy rates in Qatar’s retail sector have fallen overall as new supply has come to the market; however, occupancy rates can vary significantly between developments. While established destinations with strong footfall can enjoy high or full occupancy, new developments can often struggle to secure a strong tenant mix, given the quantity of new supply.
Generous rent-free incentives, fit-out contributions and turnover rent arrangements are a common feature of new retail developments as landlords look to attract retail tenants. While demand for new F&B units remains strong, this demand is often dominated by start-up cafés and restaurants without a track record of trading in the retail sector. Established retailers are increasingly selective about any new lease acquisitions, with a focus on the developments that can demonstrate strong footfall and high consumer spending.
Headline rents for line-units in Doha’s busier malls are typically between QAR 200 and QAR 250 per sq m per month. Rental incentives have been phased out to a large degree in Doha’s busier malls; however, significant discounts and turnover rents are still available in malls with higher vacancy as landlords look to increase occupancy.
Outside of the main organised retail malls, showrooms are typically available to lease for between QAR 80 and QAR 150 per sq m per month. Small convenience retail outlets in secondary locations are increasingly leased on the basis of a sustainable rent of between QAR 5,000 and QAR 10,000 per month depending on the size of the unit. Restaurants and cafés in some of Qatar’s most popular outdoor destinations typically generate rental incomes of between QAR 130 and QAR 180 per sq m per month.