UAE and Kuwait ranked in the top 10. Check out the full table and list [Here].
Lebanon: Stable retail despite political situation. Lebanon (24th)
drops two spots in the GRDI as the country’s per-capita consumer
spending rose 5 percent. The retail environment in Lebanon remains
stable, even as civil war in neighboring Syria has raised anxieties.
Syria’s two-year-old armed conflict has affected Lebanon’s tourism and
retail industries, particularly during the second half of 2012. In the
third quarter, retail spending dropped 8.5 percent year-over-year.
Additionally, Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar issued
official travel bans against Lebanon, hampering tourist arrivals,
especially during the popular Eid holidays. Recent rocket attacks into
a Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut have raised worries that Syria’s
troubles could revive sectarian conflicts in Lebanon.
Real estate prices have risen in the past five years, fueled by strong
demand from Lebanese expatriates and Gulf nationals. However, prices
began stagnating in 2012 as demand dampened amid instability concerns
and reduced consumer confidence, and Lebanon’s property boom may come
to a halt.
UAE developer Majid Al Futtaim has dominated the activity in Lebanon,
including the development of the Beirut Waterfront, a $225 million
mixed-use complex that includes residential, retail, and restaurant
space. In 2013, Majid Al Futtaim opened Beirut City Centre, with 200
stores, 60,000 square meters of gross leasable area, and Lebanon’s
first Carrefour hypermarket.
Modern grocery, which stands only at 30 percent of the market now, is
gaining a foothold. Joining Carrefour in Lebanon is Dutch grocer SPAR,
which will enter in 2013 as part of a regional expansion plan that
includes stores in Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Khoury Home, Lebanon’s leading
electronics and home appliances retailer, was acquired by a Middle
East private equity fund with growth plans for the brand.