'I hate lakes', says Jumeirah Lakes Towers boss

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority chief says lakes may be filled in plan to revamp free zone
'I hate lakes', says Jumeirah Lakes Towers boss
A sign advertises offices to lease at Jumeirah Lakes Towers in Dubai. (Getty Images)
By Courtney Trenwith
Thu 11 Jul 2013 12:07 PM

More of Jumeirah Lakes Towers’ manmade lakes could be filled in, the head of the authority overseeing the community has revealed.

One of the four lakes already is being transformed into a park and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority executive chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem said he would like to also get rid of the others.

“It’s no secret, I hate lakes. I love more efficiency,” he said.

“The only lake that I think will be untouchable is the one facing the Dubai Diamond Exchange [because of] the view.”

JLT, a mixed-use commercial and residential area in Dubai’s south, was designed by Nakheel, a Dubai-government owned developer. About 65,000 people live and work in the 65 completed towers, according to DMCC.

Bin Sulayem said he never liked Nakheel’s design and now that the community was under the authority of DMCC, he had plans to revamp the area.

JLT also is one of the UAE’s largest free zones and Bin Sulayem said with almost 7000 businesses now registered, artificial waterways were no longer needed to attract new investors.

“I don’t work like that. We don’t need [the lakes], the demand is here; we don’t need to do these things to attract businesses,” Bin Sulayem said.

DMCC already is replacing lake ‘C’ in the north of the community with a 55,000 square metre park that will include an amphitheatre, a sports facility, full-sized basketball court and a half-sized basketball court.

It also plans to construct a pedestrian bridge to connect the southern and northern areas of the community to increase pedestrian access.

While Bin Sulayem does not yet have any concrete plans for the other lakes he told Arabian Business he liked the idea of a mini gold souk.

“If I do fill in other lakes it will not be the same set-up that the park [will have]. It will be something else that gives value to the community ... whatever we can add that makes more value for the community without leaving and getting into traffic.

“It wouldn’t be extra towers though. That’s all I can say.”

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