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Sleepless nights for JBR residents

Beach mall construction, tram works put community to test

Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Xpress
transition throes: Ongoing construction around Jumeirah Beach Residence

Dubai:  Residents of Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) have complained that massive construction work around their community is giving them sleepless nights.

“We feel as if we are under siege with tram work on one side and the beach mall construction on the other. It’s terrible to be living here now. Thankfully, our rental contract is due to expire soon,” said Rima, a tenant of Rimal 2 who plans to move out next month.

A British tenant of Amwaj 1 said: “The beach mall construction keeps me awake all night. And traffic is unmanageable. Peak hours and weekends especially are a mess as the roads get very busy with visitors. I am looking for another apartment and will be moving shortly. In any case, the rents here are very high.”

According to Azhar Nazir, a property consultant, a two-bedroom apartment in JBR with a marina view is currently being rented at Dh115,000-Dh125,000 while a sea view flat commands Dh130,000. Dismissing the impact of the ongoing construction, he said the area is in the throes of a transition that holds a lot of promise. “I believe the construction will take about a year. But once that is through, look what you have: the Walk, the beach mall with all the top retail offerings and an operational tram.”

But for now, not all residents agree. An Indian housewife Sheela in Rimal said: “The construction is too much. I feel claustrophobic when I go down for a walk. The beach as we knew it no longer exists. All you can see are ugly cranes and construction barricades along the entire stretch. Even when the construction ends, the mall would have eaten up into our lung space.”

One supermarket in the Amwaj community said sales had gone down after the beach access was closed at the plaza level. A neighbouring restaurant also reported slow business, but said it was not only due to the construction work, but also because it was a lean, fasting month.

An English couple strolling down the Walk said: “The area is not the same with all this construction. When we were coming here from the Marina side, there was hardly any place to walk.”

An apartment owner in Amwaj 4 said: “I am not letting the construction get to me by focusing on what the future has in store. But that requires a lot of patience on my part.”


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