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Saudi footfall at Cenomi Centers beats pre-Covid level

Cenomi Centers' portfolio, including Mall of Dhahran, saw footfall rise to 124 million people in 2023 Reuters
Cenomi Centers' portfolio, including Mall of Dhahran, saw footfall rise to 124 million people in 2023

Footfall across Saudi Arabia’s largest shopping mall operator rose 19 percent year on year in 2023, eclipsing the pre-Covid level of 114 million in 2019.

Cenomi Centers reported that the number of people through the doors at its 22 locations in 10 Saudi cities reached 124 million last year.

Like-for-like occupancy rose from 90.3 percent on September 30, 2023, to close the year at 92.9 percent, reflecting solid demand from brands seeking to expand in the kingdom. 

In 2023, Cenomi Centers onboarded 63 new brands, 30 percent of which are regional or international. 

While like-for-like footfall and occupancy levels in the core portfolio showed strong performance, more recently opened centres also delivered high growth. 

The View Mall, which opened its doors to visitors in the fourth quarter of 2021, achieved an occupancy of 94.4 percent in two years.

U Walk Jeddah, which was soft-opened on December 15, 2023, is nearly 80 percent pre-let as it gears up for official opening by the end of the first quarter.

“The interest from brands looking to enter and expand in Saudi Arabia is unprecedented, reflective of the Saudi market’s huge potential,” said CEO Alison Rehill-Erguven.

Cenomi Centers plans to develop several next-generation retail and lifestyle assets in the kingdom, he added. 

In December 2023, Saudi-listed Cenomi Centers and Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Company (Cenomi Retail) agreed to end talks on a merger proposal until further notice.

Alpen Capital expects Saudi Arabia to lead growth in the GCC as the regional retail market reaches $370 billion by 2026.

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