Shopping Centers Today International

DEC 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 27 of 143

w o r l d at a g l a n c e The aggregate value of U.K. out-of-town shop- ping centers jumped by 6 percent during the third quarter — second-steepest rise since 2000 — while that of in-town centers rose by 3.8 percent, according to CBRE. The real estate services firm attributes this to heightened interest from investors and retailers. In Norway the Oslo City Council pledges to make that capital city Europe's first car-free city center by 2019. Retailers and landlords are concerned, however, that this will make it harder for people to reach their stores and shopping centers. Some major developments in Sharjah, United Arab Emir- ates, are helping that city emerge from the shadow of its better-known neighbor to the south, Dubai. One such project is the 25 million-square-foot, 2.4 billion dirham (about $650 million) Al Tilal City mixed-use development, which will contain a megamall. Others are the 20 billion dirham Sharjah Waterfront City, set to become the country's largest mixed-use development, and the 700 million dirham Al Rayyan com - plex, which contains retail, offices and housing. Meanwhile, Dubai-government-owned developer Nakheel has awarded contracts valued at nearly 2.3 billion dirham for the construc - tion of three malls in Dubai, the largest of which is to be the 1.2 million-square-foot-GLA Deira Islands Night Souk, com- prising some 5,300 stores and 96 restaurants. Tourists from the mainland account for most visitors to Puerto Rico, but the island is seeking to lure travelers from elsewhere, said Ingrid Rivera Rocafort, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. She was one of several speakers at this year's ICSC Caribbean Conference to note the im- portance of tourism to the Caribbean's retail industry. "Starting November 1, we'll have direct flights from Oslo, Stockholm and London," she said, noting that the is- land has reestablished flights to and from Mexico, Colom- bia and Spain. The opening up of Cuba is generating plenty of atten- tion, but the country holds little near-term promise for retailers and other investors, according to Frank O. Mora, director of Florida Interna- tional University's Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center. Speaking at this year's ICSC Caribbean Conference, Mora pointed out that per capita income there averages only about $20 a month, and he cautioned that government red tape and a decayed infrastructure present formidable barriers. Supaluck Umpujh, chair- woman of The Mall Group, of Thailand, is urging the government to slash im- port tariffs on fashion and cosmetics, some of which exceed 40 percent. Doing so, she argues, could help turn Bangkok into the "Dubai of the East" and make the city a competitive shopping des- tination with Singapore and Hong Kong. There remains plenty of room for retail in Manila, the Philippines, despite the opening of several shop- ping centers there in recent years, according to Hans Sy, president of SM Prime Holdings. "Metro Manila is far from being saturated by modern retail facilities," said Sy, whose firm opened SM Center Sangandaan, its fifth Manila mall, this year. S c t f C u b 28 S c t / D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

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