Yasser Asim Qaffas

Doctoral Researcher

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Yasser Qaffas

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Title of PhD: Spatial analysis of Mixed Use - Shopping Malls in Jeddah – Saudi Arabia

Supervisor: Dr Phil Ian Jones and Dr Michael John Beazley

Yasser Qaffas is undertaking doctoral research in Spatial Analysis of Shopping Malls in Jeddah – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the aim of finding out whether the malls built are meeting the requirements of the target people.

Yasser is a doctoral research student in School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. Before starting his PhD, he graduated from Heriot - Watt University, Edinburgh, U.K. with an MSc in User - Initiated Transformations of Public Housing. He received a B.Sc. in Urban and Regional from The Environmental Design Faculty, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


2010 – 2011: MSc Urban and Regional Planning (Distinction)

2003 – 2007: BSc Urban and Regional Planning


  • 2012: Started PhD
  • 2010 – 2011: M. Sc. Urban and Regional Planning
  • 2008 – 2010: Teaching Assistant in Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Environmental Design, King Abdulaziz University
  • 2003 – 2007: B. Sc. Urban and Regional Planning


Recent research:

There are a variety of land uses required in urban planning; one of these uses is retailing or commercial use such as shops in various areas. Shopping centres is a type of commercial uses which are more recent, especially the new concept of shopping centres. In the same context, shopping centres or shopping malls have started to become more widespread in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 2000.

The new concept of shopping centres in Saudi Arabia and all the developments that affect the local needs whether they are social, economical, psychological or technical will affect the land use directly and dynamically. These changes have brought about a new form of retail which was not available in the past, namely shopping centres or shopping malls (Mollat as they call it in Saudi Arabia).

These shopping malls consist of two floors or more with a total area from 30,000 m2 to 300,000 m2 including the car parking area. The malls are often beside supermarkets which are in some cases 10,000 m2 approximately.  In addition, most of the malls have a number of different uses such as entertainment, offices, medical centres, residential, and food courts.

The main aim of this research is to find out whether the new concepts of shopping malls that have been built are meeting the requirements of the People's desire in Jeddah. The research will examine the shopping system in Saudi Arabia and attempts to analyse the shopping system in the framework of city planning. It will try to assess the impact of this new style of shopping centres on both the city and the population. In more detail it will highlight the positive and negative aspects arising from the changes and evolution in the concept of shopping in Jeddah and the how planners should deal with them and try to find answer for the main question of this research.

Research interests:

  • Smart Growth Development Planning
  • Urban regeneration
  • Mixed-Use Development
  • Shopping Malls Analysis

Other activities

  • Associate member of Birmingham Initiative On Sustainability Sciences Group - University of Birmingham
  • Participation in Conference of Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers Postgraduate and one of the organizers it, 2013

Training and courses:

  • AutoCAD software (Advanced level), King Abdul-Aziz University
  • Introduction to GIS (Geographical Information Systems), First and Second Levels
  • Short course by Professor Lora D. Tyson, Dean London Business School, titled "Achieving Accelerated Growth"
  • Short course by W. Paul Farmer, American Institute of Certified Planners, titled "The Future of Planning: The American Experience"
  • The international Teaching Assistant training course, University of Birmingham
  • Passing the Effective Researcher Program, University of Birmingham
  • Publishing strategies and New publishing models courses, University of Birmingham

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