Jones Lang LaSalle sets up Mideast retail unit

DUBAI, March 7 Sun Mar 7, 2010 3:19am EST

DUBAI, March 7 (Reuters) - Property investment and advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL.N) has created a retail business unit for the Middle East and North Africa region, eyeing the sector as a key growth driver, it said on Sunday.

The newly-created division will provide development advisory, as well as leasing and management services to retail clients in the region.

"We believe in the huge potential of retail and consider it as one of our maj*or regional business initiatives for 2010," said Blair Hagkull, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle MENA, in a statement.

David Macadam will head the division.

Dubai, the retail capital of the region, has been hit hard by the end of a six-year economic boom fuelled by a fast-paced real estate development. Retail sales fell sharply across the once-bustling emirate, as consumers slashed spending.

Jones Lang LaSalle, which operates in 25 countries across the region through four branches, is planning to open new offices, it said, without specifying their locations.

(Reporting by Tamara Walid; Editing by Bill Tarrant)

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