Main business sectors in Malaga

If you’re inspired by the idea of doing business in Malaga, the next obvious question is where to do it. The city offers opportunities in several key areas, all currently experiencing a boom. This article describes the principal business sectors in Malaga and the specific openings within each of them.

Tourism

As the capital of the Costa del Sol, tourism in Malaga offers one of the largest markets for investment. It’s also a growing one with the city registering record numbers of visitors and hotel occupancy in 2018 and 2019. Both Spanish and international tourists have increased, particularly in the traditionally ‘off-season’ months of November, January and February.

Opportunities for business found in tourism

Hotels – several new hotels have appeared on the scene in Malaga over the last two years (e.g. Gran Hotel Miramar and Palacio Solecio) and others have carried out major refurbishment (such as the NH Malaga). Some 2,000 extra beds have been added. In 2018, Malaga registered one of the highest occupancy rates in Spain.

MICE – the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions section is another important growth area in Malaga. In 2018, the city welcomed a record 100,000 attendees with an estimated economic impact of over €100 million.

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Technology

Another of the key business sectors in Malaga, technology, I+D and telecommunications companies have two focal points in the city: in the Andalusian Technological Park (Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía/PTA) and the Digital Centre (Polo Digital). Opportunities for business and investment exist in both. The Blockchain and Fintech sectors have emerged in the city and look set to become major players.

PTA

The PTA is a benchmark for technology with Andalusia. Since its creation it has attracted the world’s leading companies – Oracle, Accenture, Microsoft, Cisco and Huawei are just some examples. Over 640 companies are based there and between them, they employ almost 20,000 people (20.06% of the city’s workforce). Although information technology accounts for over a third of activity at the PTA, there are also companies in other sectors such as pharmaceutical, services and telecommunications.

Polo Digital

The Polo Digital, created in 2017, specialises in digital content. VR, mapping and videogames are main focal points and the Centre houses a number of start-ups. Training is also important and the Centre runs several courses.

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Construction

Building was one of the business sectors in Malaga that suffered most in the crisis. However, the rebirth of demand for construction since 2017 has seen a consolidation of the industry that currently employs 100,000 in the province.

Residential property in Malaga

High demand from both international investors and local residents has led to a rise in new-build construction in the city. Current focal points include Teatinos, Eastern Malaga and the western seafront. Luxury residential property such as the Picasso Towers with multi-million euro units has appeared on the market. Read about buying property in Malaga.

Did you know? In 2018, prices for new-build property in Malaga went up by 20.2%. Prices for resale property rose by 4.5% in the year to October 2019.

Office property in Malaga

The high demand for offices in Malaga gives an indication of the interest in investment in the city. According to figures by Savills Aguirre Newman, office occupancy in Malaga exceeds 90% and they calculate that there’s a shortage of over 50,000 square metres. To meet some of this demand, several coworking spaces have appeared.

Retail property in Malaga

In 2019, there were 14 shopping centres in Malaga city with a total retail space of over 423,000 square metres. Demand for retail premises is high in the city and those in Calle Larios command the most expensive rents. Rates went up by 11% in 2018 and although competition from e-commerce is strong, retail space continues to be at a premium in Malaga. The city ranks among the most attractive cities to establish a retail business in Europe, according to Savills Aguirre Newman.

Transport & Logistics

The city’s excellent connectivity and strategic location make transport and logistics one of the most important business sectors in Malaga. This area has several key players:

Airport

Malaga is the third busiest airport in mainland Spain, second only to Madrid and Barcelona. Between January and October 2019, it handled over 17.5 million passengers.

Malaga Port

One of the largest transport hubs in southern Spain, the Port acts as a key gateway to the Mediterranean and North Africa. It has seen a large increase in container transportation since 2018. On the tourism side, the Port receives around 500,000 cruise ship passengers on 300 boats every year. In 2019, the authorities put out the tender for the creation of a mega-yacht harbour within Malaga Port.

Logistical centres

Malaga has two designated logistics centres, both under expansion. In 2019, there was a marked increase in the demand for large warehouse space, particularly from e-commerce companies.

Discover who’s already doing business in Malaga and which sectors they’ve chosen.

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