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Saudi Arabia’s retail sector shows strong recovery

Relaxation in travel restrictions is also expected to triple the number of foreign visitors, which will further boost retail sales.

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Saudi Arabia’s retail sector has seen an increase in space and a strong recovery in domestic demand during the first half of 2022 as pandemic restrictions have eased, a report by the real estate management firm JLL showed. 

Relaxations in covid restrictions have triggered a recovery in domestic demand for retail in Saudi Arabia, which has led to a significant increase in retail space in the kingdom. Riyadh currently has 3.3 million square meters of retail area, followed by Jeddah, which went from 16,000 to 1.7 million square meters, and Makkah, which increased from 17,500 to 1.4 million square meters in the first six months of 2022. With lesser travel restrictions, Saudi Arabia is expected to meet its goal of attracting 12 million foreign visitors, which will boost retail sales further.

Saudi Arabia’s Monetary Authority has also reported a 16% year-on-year rise in the number of point-of-sale transactions for April and May. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which looks at the supply chains of major companies, also went up from 55.7 to 57 between May and June 2022. These readings indicate growth in the non-oil sector, in line with Saudi Arabia’s vision for the future.

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