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Mideast toy market worth $1.5b: Study

Dubai, January 26, 2008

The toy market in the Middle East region is worth $1.5 billion per year with a current growth of 11.8 per cent per annum, according to a study.

The average yearly expenditure per child on toys and video games in the Middle East is $327 which makes it twice the level of expenditure in Europe and the second largest spend after North America, a research conducted by Epoc Messe Frankfurt, organiser of Middle East Toy Fair revealed.

Epoc Messe Frankfurt will host the toy fair in Dubai from March 31 to April 2.

'Thanks to the real estate boom, there has been a 50 per cent annual growth in the shopping mall space in the Gulf during the last few years,' Monica Schulz-Blank, show manager of Middle East Toy Fair pointed out.

The GCC states’ retail real estate market is the fastest growing in the world with more than 16.35 million sq m of gross leasable area (GLA) expected to be completed by 2010.

“This represents an increase of 565 per cent in available GLA found in the region since 2000, which then stood at 2.46 million sq m,” Schulz-Blank observed.

“Within the GCC, the UAE and Saudi Arabia will see the highest GLA increase, with Dubai witnessing the largest actual increase from 1.17 million square metres in 2006 to 4.25 million square metres by the end of the decade.”

There are plans to spend over $26 billion on building new shopping malls in the Arabian Gulf states over the next five years, she said.

By 2009, Dubai will have the highest retail spend in the GCC, even higher than Saudi Arabia, despite having a lower population than Saudi. This will be due to the retail income generated from about 15 million tourists.

Abu Dhabi’s GLA is set to increase from 574,000 square metres at the end of 2006 to 1.4 million square metres by 2010, representing a total rise of 145 per cent.

Bahrain is expected to see a 216 per cent increase in the growth of shopping centre space with Manama malls increasing their space to 600,000 square metres, she said.

Reflecting on the industry Schulz-Blank said that on an average 5-7 and even 10 per cent of the space in any retail development across the region is being devoted to family entertainment areas and related stores.

According to her, entertainment and toy stores are fast becoming the anchor for shopping malls across the region.

”This massive expansion in shopping malls in the Gulf combined with an increasing population growing at six per cent annually augurs well for the toy industry,” she noted.-TradeArabia News Service 




Tags: Middle East | growth | market | toy | fair | retail space | Epoc Messe Frankfurt |

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