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Shopping, Leisure Boosts GCC Retail Experience

Known as the shopping capital of the Middle East, Dubai is home to some of the world’s largest malls and a sophisticated retail ecosystem.

As PYMNTS recently reported, local brands are embracing innovation to provide a glimpse into the future of hybrid shopping experiences that combine e-commerce elements with in-store retail.

read more: Smart Retail Brand Drives Hybrid Shopping Experience in UAE

But beyond hybrid shopping in the United Arab Emirates, alternative retail destinations in Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have emerged to diversify the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) region’s retail appeal. and shopping in a unique way.

Majid Al Futtaim Breaks the Mold in Oman’s Saudi Mall

Last month, Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim, one of the Middle East’s largest mall operators, partnered with US virtual reality (VR) company Dreamscape to bring immersive experiences to Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Park Mall. Opened.

The new VR location is the second Dreamscape project to open at Majid Al Futtaim Mall, following the company’s regional debut at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates.

See also VR Venture Gets Hollywood Backing

In fact, Majid Al Futtaim has a growing presence in Saudi Arabia’s retail market and is currently building what will become the Kingdom’s largest mall, the Mall of Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh.

The new retail and leisure complex will include a five-star hotel, 600 stores spread over approximately 300,000 square meters of floor space, and a 40,000 square meter indoor ski area and snow park.

Related: i2c Launches Payments and Rewards Solution by UAE Retailer Majid Al Futtaim

Majid Al Futtaim seems to be sticking with the same formula of integrating retail, leisure, entertainment and dining in other markets.

Another of the company’s malls, Mall of Oman (which turned one year old last month), incorporates 15 cinema screens, the nation’s first IMAX, an arcade and a soft play area for children, plus an indoor snow park. .

learn more: PYMNTS GCC Series: Still in its early stages, Oman’s fintech hub shows huge growth potential

Muscat, the capital of Oman, has attracted many international brands besides Majid Al Futtaim, including Emirati companies looking to expand their operations in the region.

For example, department store Jashanmal opened its first store in Oman in May, while Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Group opened its first IKEA franchise in the country in June.

See also Oman’s Bank Muscat Introduces QR Code Payments

Qatar retailers prepare for World Cup

Ahead of next month’s FIFA World Cup, Qatar’s retail sector is gearing up for over one million football fans expected to visit the Arab country.

Related: PYMNTS GCC Series: Big Tech Company Opens Shop in Qatar

A key center of activity during the tournament will be the Doha Sports City complex, also known as the Aspire Zone, which is home to the Khalifa International Stadium and Doha’s iconic Villaggio Mall.

For example, last month, a Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) kiosk in the Villagio Mall enrolled consumers on the bank’s limited edition FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Visa card and invited shoppers to play an immersive VR soccer game. I was recommending it.

QIB or Qatar National Bank Visa cardholders were also able to win tickets to the World Cup matches in another initiative running at the Villagio Mall.

read more: QNB launches new payment service in Qatar

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