Beirut… ci mancava il “Mall più grande del Medio Oriente”!

Ogni volta chUn mall di Dubai della Majid al Futtaime passo accanto a questo mega cantiere accanto allo stradone che collega Ashrafiye a Hazmiye, alle porte di Beirut lungo la via che porta a Damasco, mi risuonano in mente le parole di un tassista: “Sarà il più grande centro commerciale del Medio Oriente”.

Sarà il Beirut City Center, di proprietà della holding Majid al Futtaim basata negli Emirati Arabi Uniti.

Eh già, perché a Beirut ci sono pochi centri commerciali. Ora ci sarà anche il “più grande della regione”… penso mentre, con uno slancio di ingenuità, mi chiedo perché non costruiscano un giardino pubblico a Beirut.

Non il “giardino più grande del Medio Oriente”… no, uno modesto, ma con l’erba e gli alberi veri, con le altalene e la zona picnic. Divago troppo. E allora godiamoci questa notizia del The Daily Star che ci informa che il super mega galattico mall di Hazmiye sarà pronto nel 2013. Hip hip hurrah!

A $300 million Beirut shopping mall will open for business in 2013 and will create 1,200 jobs; real estate developer Majid Al-Futtaim (MAF) told the Emirati weekly Arabian Business.

“Beirut City Centre, located in the capital’s Hazmieh district on the Damascus-Beirut road, will house a total of 200 stores over three levels and 40 international food and beverage outlets,” the weekly reported.

Waddah al-Solh, country head at MAF Properties, said the mall would “foster growth within the local economy and specifically the retail sector” and would create, in addition to permanent retail jobs, around 2,500 temporary jobs in construction.

The construction on the mall started back in 2009 and has been scheduled for completion by the start of 2013. Key features of the mall include the first Carrefour hypermarket in the country, which will occupy a 13,000-square-meter area.

Majid Al-Futtaim holding, the operator of Carrefour and City Centre shopping malls in the UAE, has reported a 10 percent growth in its revenues for 2011. The company said its 2011 revenues touched $5 billion.

The same company has also been involved in a project on the seafront of Dbayyeh dubbed “Waterfront City.”

The $2 billion project is scheduled to be finalized in four phases over the next 15 years. The first phase is expected to be completed in two years and includes seven buildings, cafes, restaurants and a retail zone.