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Saudi mall owners continue building despite oil rout

Dubai

THE highway that cuts through the middle of Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital, takes drivers past two shopping malls and another one under construction, each rising up soon after the last fades in the rear-view mirror.

The outlets are emblematic of a retail building boom in Saudi Arabia that continues apace even as oil, the kingdom's dominant source of revenue, slumps.

Foreign and domestic companies are betting shopping demand will rise for years, bolstered by one of the world's youngest populations and modern retail space that's only a fraction of that in the US on a per capita basis.

Riyadh is expected to add 565,000 square metres of gross leasable area through 2017, while the coastal city...

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