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Wed 17 Jul 2013 03:32 PM

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Mosque to replace part of lake in Dubai's JLT

DMCC boss announces half a lake will be filled in, a week after declaring ‘I hate lakes’

Mosque to replace part of lake in Dubai's JLT
DMCC executive chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem last week said he would like to fill in the remaining three manmade lakes in JLT and replace them with other amenities such as a mini gold souk or sporting facilities.

One of the remaining lakes in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) will be partially filled in to make way for a mosque and car park, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the authority overseeing the community has announced.

The mosque will accommodate more than 1,000 worshippers and include an upper-level prayer area for at least 300 women.

It will be the first mosque in JLT, which also has a dedicated pray hall in Tiffany Tower. Around 65,000 people currently live and work in the area.

The mosque is yet to be designed but will be inspired by Umayyad/Andalusian architecture and will be named in honour of Uthman Ibn 'Affan, one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Construction will involve filling in part of ‘Lake A’ in the south of JLT, between clusters A, M and L.

A “large scale” car park also will be built on the site.

DMCC executive chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem last week said he would like to fill in the remaining three manmade lakes in JLT and replace them with other amenities such as a mini gold souk or sporting facilities.

‘Lake C’ already has been filled in and a 55,000 square metre park including an amphitheatre and basketball court are due to be completed there by the end of the year.

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

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

However, he said he would consult the community before changing more lakes. DMCC did not reveal what consultation it did prior to announcing the mosque.

DMCC also announced this week it was re-assessing the technology it uses to keep the remaining waterways clean. The lakes are often green and known to be difficult to maintain.

No date has been set for when the lake will be partially filled in or when construction of the mosque and car park will start and finish.

“The Uthman Ibn 'Affan Mosque will compliment several existing prayer halls by providing a much needed opportunity for men and women to pray within their community and is an essential natural next step in improving quality of life and sense of belonging,” Bin Sulayem said.

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Ahmed Bin Sulayem 6 years ago

“My personal view is that lakes are inefficient and do not bring value. This does not mean that we will fill in all of the lakes, but it does mean we will listen to the community about what makes sense. Even if some in the media think I shouldn’t listen to the JLT community then I’m afraid I will keep on disappointing them.”

Ulevpri 6 years ago

@Mr. Ahmed Bin Sulayem:
So if you hate Lakes than why it is called Lake Towers? And if the community offered facilities with lakes to the buyers then how comes this wants to be changed? You can just change development plans? Which value has the investor who spent money making this community possible and alive? What happened to the initial development plans, which have been issued to the investors to get him spending money? Its called lake towers for a reason, right?

There are much more things which needs to be finished and done properly before development plans should be changed against the will of the owners and investors...

Abdalla 6 years ago

What about cluster Z? New scaffolding is erected on one of the structures in that cluster. Are there plans of converting this site into amenity?

Billy 6 years ago

The only thing that is different about Mr Ahmed Bin Sulayem to all the other developers is that he is being honest. Take a look at all the main developments in Dubai and you will see this same pattern. For example at Arabian Ranches EMAAR built a very big lake and sold houses at premium prices for the lake view. Once all the houses were sold they then filled in the lake and built more houses. The lake had done its job. This is precisely what will happen at JLT. The lakes have done their job and so will be filled in and replaced not with parks - they don't generate revenue - but with shops, sports facilities and paid for parking. Increasing the value of already sold property is not on the agenda - simply making more money is the only item on there. It seems to me open space in Dubai is simply not allowed....look what a mess they are making of JBR and the Walk - all that open space has had to be replaced with not needed, overpriced 5 star outlets again to make money -never mind the view

Ahmed Bin Sulayem 6 years ago

Billy, the JLT Park will be delivered in 2 months. You are reaching when you say "The lakes have done their job & so will be filled in & replaced not with parks - they don't generate revenue" as for the Mosque I don't understand your reasoning for your clear dislike of its inclusion, its what every community in Dubai should & will have. If you have a view against Mosques please do speak up. As for the parking DMCC already provides car parks for free & in other areas 2hours free of charge. Not every Development is the same. In your tone you seems to insinuate "if you have seen 1, you've seen them all" is it racial? thats a bit of a bigotry from your side. I highly encourage you to search DMCC on YouTube, find the YouTube Channel & listen to the interview with ARN in regards to the Mosque. On another note, do you live in JLT? If you don't I cant seem to understand why you should speak on behalf of the JLT Community who eagerly welcome the large Uthman Ibn Affan Mosque.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem 6 years ago

Abdalla Thats a great idea, cluster Z is a private entity not owned by DMCC, they have a choice of renting or selling their land to another developer we can not force the matter since they paid for the land in full & have been paying master community service charges even though their towers have not been built yet, I expect them to partner with some one to develop their cluster either into 3 towers as they planned or they may go different route which the DMCC Authority will have to approve, in any case they have yet to start building.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem 6 years ago

Ulevpri I completely agree with you, for some reason you assume that every one that moved in has the same views as you do & even more importantly that the first to move in are still there. My view of the Lakes have never changed for almost 9 or so years, no changes mainly because the investors & the buyers moved in for the Lakes. What changed now is we have been having negative feed back about the Lakes yet there will still be 3 Lakes and a contractor with more advanced technology to treat the lakes will be awarded next week. As far as the amenities goes the community are waiting eagerly for the park to be completed which is due in about two months, The Uthamn Ubn Affan Masjid is a must for all communities & in JLT it takes a part of the land & a part of a lake. These changes would never happen if the need from the community did not justify it regardless of my opinion. That being said we will still have 3 huge Lakes. Any changes in the future rest assured its the community not me.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem 6 years ago

Bill Many thanks for your feedback, I would highly recommend you got to the DMCC youtube channel & listen to my interview with Stephen Manny from ARN, you are right about me being straight forward with every one, I just can't lie not out of fear but to me lying is a cheap attitude & cancerous. I didn't put the link of the You Tube in this post as Arabian Business will not post my response to you with the link. Go to YouTube Channel and search the DMCC you will find us in the 3rd or forth result & then you can easily find the radio interview as it clears any misperception. This is not a commercial matter its more of a necessity otherwise would have seen us as you stated announced that villas would be built or even God forbid Towers that block the views of the JLT Community.

Pierre Eldik 6 years ago

Dear Mr. Bin Sulayem,
I am an investor in an apartment in cluster (A) of JLT and I would like to see a map of the changes already made and planning to be made to all the lakes in JLT so I can understand the extent of the damage to my investment (if any). I think this should not be difficult to provide. please confirm where and how to download such a map.
thanking you in advance.

Fahad M 6 years ago

Mr Ahmed Bin Sulayem,
First of all, thank you for personally replying to the comments.

On the point of consulting the community about changes, you say current residents will have an input. However, when the park was decided for Lake C, Owners' Associations reported that though many opposed it, the plan still went ahead.

My question is this: Clusters N, M, A, and L will lose their lake views. So will you evaluate whether a MAJORITY of these cluster RESIDENTS oppose the plan, or will you just "hold meetings to hear their concerns", but in any case go ahead with the plan because you already decided on it?

Also, why not use cluster K to build the mosque, as it has 3 massive holes in the ground, no towers, and a perfect fully built parking for 3 towers. This would be perfect for the mosque!

Also, why not use even a SMALL part of the huge plot where you decided to build the tallest commercial tower?

A mosque is a must for JLT, but it can be done without antagonizing current residents.