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Mixed reactions about The Beach mall in JBR
Businesses and residents express thoughts about on-going construction projects
March 31, 2014 4:17 by kippreport
The popular beachside destination, which receives thousands of visitors, has been under on-going constructions the past year for many projects, including the Sufouh Tram Line, scheduled to be completed by November 2014, a new outdoor mall and the UAE’s first outdoor cinema, which is set to open in the coming weeks. The Beach project, developed by Meraas, will consist of a one-kilometre stretch of four plazas connected by an esplanade and will comprise restaurants and shops, providing family entertainment.
The renovation plans for Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) also include the construction of a 160-room beachfront hotel and an amphitheatre on the ground level of The Walk by Dubai Properties Group – the master developer of JBR, along with Business Bay, Dubailand and Culture Village.
Speaking about the latest development plans, Khalid Al Malik, Group CEO of Dubai Properties Group, says the new projects will match the growing tourism around JBR. “With more than 13 million visitors to The Walk last year alone, these new projects and upgrades will serve the rising demand of Dubai’s tourism industry, and will add to the charm of one of the region’s most popular destinations,” he adds.
One JBR resident who lives in Sadaf, a JBR tower block, expresses concerns over these projects, and says the area is becoming too crowded with buildings and constructions no longer offering a nice beach view. “Everything has become so blocked; I feel it is becoming redundant, restaurants and retail outlets are already available around The Walk ,” says Dalia El Aidy. She also adds that congestion problems around JBR should be resolved with these new projects, as traffic has become a burden for residents.
For restaurants and businesses operating in the area, plans mean a growth in visitors, but also a possibility of losing customers to new attractions.
Rafic, branch manager of the Butcher Shop and Grill on The Walk, says that JBR will never go back to how it used to be in 2009. “With the new mall opening right across from our restaurant, it will certainly take business [away] rom us, but the advantage now is that JBR will look like a big compound, but will look good. Of course, we will lose some business, but we have a good reputation, so we are not afraid,” he adds.
However, for Otto Kurzendorfer, general manager at JA Ocean View Hotel, on the Walk, new projects will attract more people and bring more guests. “We are really looking forward to these developments, people coming out to the shops and the area. It is also a good thing to have a shopping centre on the beachside,” he says.
He adds that they have not disturbed any of their guests about the on-going construction, as the mall will only be set on two levels. “We communicate well with our guests. We make sure we tell them about the on-going construction. Since it is only two levels, it doesn’t spoil our views.”