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Thu 11 Jul 2013 12:07 PM

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'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)

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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Michael 6 years ago

Bin Sulayem,

You have no concept of community or people's rights and desires!!!

We bought lake front property not something with a cheap tacky gold souk that nobody would want. Talk to your community first and don't just come up with comments like this on a whim!

Sheikha 6 years ago

Why doesnt he address the terrible traffic issue there before he starts banging on about the lakes.

F Backer 6 years ago

please add large number of car parking for visitors!



Faisal 6 years ago

This is appalling. So many people (including myself) invested in WATERFRONT properties in JLT. As a resident and owner I expect to have a say in how the community is changed and I'm pretty sure a lot of other people would voice the same!

Just because Mr. Sulayem doesn't like lakes doesn't mean they should be removed. We don't like Palm District Cooling (and their exorbitant almost exploitative cooling costs but we live with those too, don't we?)

Perhaps a petition is in order to stop Mr. Sulayem making drastic changes to the Master Community willy nilly, as he sees fit. And if he would like to make such changes perhaps he should refund part of the money we paid to buy our properties since the community will no longer remain the same.

Also, is it just me or is Jumeirah Lakes Towers the stupidest name for a community if it doesn't have any lakes?

nimby 6 years ago

Anyone understand this?
2 interview in 2 days.

Firstly on some office block that will touch the sky.
Now being in charge of the lakes, and he doesnt like lakes.

Is it April 1st again and nobody told us?

omar faris 6 years ago

JBR with a narrowing beach space.
JLT with less or no lakes.
properties handover delayed indefinitely.
refunds not guaranteed.
tittle ownership prolonged.
Increasing Maintenance services fees with no transparency.
master developer can change master designs at any time.
yet people are still buying !

MOHAMED HANIF AHAMED 6 years ago

Anything other than lake will definitely look ugly and it will spoil the whole feel and look of JLT... If this is considered because of maintenance cost of lakes or to generate more income from those beautiful lakes.. then it is unethical. All those who bought properties here have lakes and lake views in their mind and now after reading this, they all must have shaken like me.

AHMED HANIF 6 years ago

It is very clear from the article which indicate that only because now there is good demand so what is the need of lakes.

It means make something very beautiful to create the demand and once demand is there destroy the beauty because the job is done.. the beauty has created the demand and now there is no need for it.

What sort of philosophy is this?? very sad to read this. I hope they change their mind.

Roadworrier 6 years ago

It's quite simple, everyone.

It doesn't matter whether you are an owner or investor. If you are not a citizen (something you are born into), your opinion matters not a whit.

Think about it. JBR has (almost) no beach. JLT may one day have no lakes. Dozens of development in New Dubai (even a golf community 6-7 miles inland) are called Jumeirah which causes endless confusion with the "real" community of Jumeira.

The Marina (which I otherwise love) has zero square inches of parkland.

Dozens of towers and buildings started in 2007 throughout the city sit abandoned while new ones (and new islands with ferris wheels accessible only through areas with nearly zero vehicular capacity) are concocted and started. Dubailand's theme park zones sit empty or disused while they plan a world's fair in the middle of the desert, and while Metro stations were constructed on empty lots.

Dubai is adult Legoland and welcome to it!

Sole 6 years ago

Whether he like or hate it is irrelevant , investors has bought these properties based on availability of nice lake view and certain criteria .

The same happen in emirates hills after investors bought Meadows on the condition that they will be surrounded with forest and green fields to wake up one morning and see that they are surrounded by tall towers and total lack of privacy ., while the Jumeirah islands gulf course was replaced by additional villas .

Is it legal or ethical to change the master plan without the constant approval of the buyers and property owners ? it show how credible is all these companies and the system that protect them ., and it show how safe is the investment in this region ., if now they can change the view , who know maybe this will be only test for the people reaction when tomorrow they will come with more drastic move such as claiming that the property are given on lease or rent and rule that claim no one can own anything in the gulf for whatever reason.