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The UAE seems to thrive on its retail culture as evidenced by the number of modern malls and retail zones integrated into real estate developments scattered all over the country.
The latest addition to the country’s retail segment is The Souq, part of the heritage project wasl district in old Dubai. Offering more than 200 retail units catering to diverse businesses, the project in Naif, Deira is divided into four zones named after elements that hold significance in Emirati culture: Oud, Talli, Zaffaran and Lulu. Shops selling perfumes and ladies wear, and offering embroidery and tailoring services will consist the Oud district. Dining outlets, and firms into jewelry and home appliances will occupy the Talli zone. Entrepreneurs with activities that range from selling dried fruits to electronic items will make up the Zaffaran section. Carpet and textile traders will compose the Lulu cluster. The whole wasl district will also have apartments, offices and a hotel.
New Dubai’s retail draws need no introduction as they have become crowd-pullers for several years. The entire Dubai Marina development has three resident and tourist hot spots to its name: Jumeirah Beach Residence’s (JBR) The Walk and The Beach and Marina Walk. The Walk is a veritable hub of activity, witnessing no dearth of people no matter the time of day. The popular hangout is home to several shops that sell items ranging from eyewear to shoes and clothes. During the winter months, you can see kiosks that display accessories, soaps and souvenirs in the outdoor market called the Covent Garden Market. Several dining outlets and grocery stores also line the popular strip. The nearby The Beach is the newest addition to the area’s retail scene. The beachfront address features a mall, an outdoor cinema and plenty of dining venues. Equally popular is the Marina Walk with numerous cafes and restaurants framed by an amazing backdrop of high-rises and yachts moored in the marina.
With mixed-use developments becoming a trend in this part of the world, expect more retail segments to occupy future real estate projects.
• The Souq will feature several retail units for diverse businesses
• The Walk hosts the Covent Garden Market, shops and restaurants
• The Beach has a mall, an outdoor cinema, many dining outlets
Source: Ellen Joyce Soriano, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer