Malls & businesses urged to promote local products
22 Oct 2017 - 11:39
By Mohammed Shoeb | The Peninsula
Local businesses, malls and major commercials centres can play major role in supporting national products as well as the initiatives of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), who are contributing to diversify the local economy, say exports from the industry.
Malls and huge commercials developments are modern day economic phenomenon, especially in developing and emerging countries, that translates into one of the stages of economic growth, expanding and diversifying the supply of goods and services and supporting large-scale consumption.
Analysts believe that the malls in Qatar will also have a positive impact on the construction sector in the country, working as the main engine of economic growth.
“The major commercial centres are to be a real interface for introducing and highlighting the national products. They should not be focusing only on internationally established brands and products. They should also have dedicated spaces for promoting Qatari products and local entrepreneurship at a time when the various economies of the world are moving towards this field,” Abdullah Al Khater, an economist and a prominent businessman was quoted by Al Sharq as saying.
Al Khater added that this phenomenon has become popular in Qatar over the last few years and becoming the main growth driver of the country’s commercial sector.
Commenting on the structures of commercial centres, he highlighted that the traditional style still dominates most of the commercial centers in the region, including Qatar, in comparison to what exists in the developed countries.
Al Khater, however, noted that some of the new malls and shopping centres built in the recent past few years in Qatar are characterised by their beautiful and dazzling designs and contemporary facilities.
“These new shopping centres are in line with the country’s long-term vision and catering to the needs of visitors. They are also having very positive impact on different sectors of the economy and supporting several economic activities and attracting investments from around the world.”
He also noted that the level of investments these malls and commercial centres have attracted, in terms of retail outlets and associated companies to support the maintenance and operations of these malls, are even higher than the amount of funds invested on developing these malls.
Khalifa Al Muslamani, a prominent real estate expert explained that the major malls and commercial spaces in the country represent a qualitative addition to the commercial sector, referring to the billions of riyals of investment that have been pumped into the sector over the past few years.
Al Muslamani added that the demand for commercial spaces within malls and commercial centres is growing according to the market expectations.
He also pointed out that there is an improvement in performance in the market due to moderate rise in enquiries and commercial traffic. He said that malls are witnessing an increasing demand by those wishing to enter these commercial spaces that provide them access to a wide range of customers. The real estate expert also confirmed that the value of assets of these commercial spaces are to the tune of several billions of dollars.
According to the programmes announced in the past few years, eight new major commercial centers, including the newly opened Al Mirqab mall, and Doha Festival City, the largest entertainment, retail and hospitality destination in Qatar, will be opened in the country by the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, adding to the existing malls while observers believe that these malls offer broad options and products that meet the needs of shoppers and consumers and keep pace with growth of population in the country.