Three of the four retail firms in the table have been regular features in the MEED 100, but they are joined this year by Emaar Malls Group, which debuted in 26th position, with a market capitalisation of $9.9bn.
The firm leapfrogged the others to become the largest listed retail company in the Middle East and North Africa. Emaar Malls Group owns Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping centres in the world, as well as Souk al-Bahar in Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina Mall and the Gold & Diamond Park located on the emirates Sheikh Zayed Road.
Emaar Malls Group was floated on the Dubai Financial Market in the third quarter of 2014, raising $1.6bn. Dubai Mall welcomed more than 80 million visitors in 2014, and is estimated to account for 5 per cent of Dubais GDP, according to parent company Emaar Properties.
Following the success of the listing, senior managers at Emaar Properties said plans were being formulated to list the groups hospitality unit and its Egyptian development arm, Emaar Misr. The slump in oil prices, which is causing uncertainty in equity markets, is likely to delay these initial public offerings, however.
The other three retail firms in the MEED 100, all of which are listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), also rose significantly in the table, demonstrating the strength of the non-oil sector in the kingdom.