Where’s the lake gone?: Work in progress at JLT for the upcoming park on what used to be lake ‘C’ XPRESS/Pankaj Sharma Image Credit: XPRESS/Pankaj Sharma

Dubai: The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre’s (DMCC) plan to replace two of the lakes in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) with a mosque and park has evoked mixed reactions from residents living there.

DMCC, the authority overseeing the development of JLT, recently announced that it will develop a mosque on the site comprising part of lake ‘A’ and some adjacent land. The mosque will accommodate over 1,000 worshippers with an upper level prayer area to accommodate nearly 300 women. Additionally, a large scale parking for about 5,000 cars will also be constructed.

The DMCC has also started developing a 55,000 square metre park replacing lake ‘C’ in the north of the community.

Many residents have expressed concern that the decision would not only compromise on the beauty but also adversely affect property prices in JLT.

“Lakes have been the selling point for JLT. We moved in here because of the lakes and the authorities should be able to maintain that,” a resident said on condition of anonymity.

“I feel people who moved in because of the lakes would be unhappy,” said Sunita, a property agent in the area. “It might get even tougher for us to rent out apartments. A park is not a necessity here as this community has a large number of singles, and not many children.”

However, Praveen Mehta, Business Development Manager, Coldwell Banker, said the park and mosque could actually help attract more people to the community.

Some residents said they would rather have a park due to cleanliness issues. “The area would be much cleaner. With the lakes, there were issues like smelly water, mosquitoes, etc,” said a resident.

An employee of a restaurant located near the previous lake ‘C’, where the construction for the park is on in full swing, said: “We don’t think our business would be hit. In fact, it could get better as the park would attract more people.”

Meanwhile, Ahmad Bin Sul-ayem, Executive Chairman of DMCC, has assured residents that the aesthetics of the area would not be compromised.

“We want to make JLT a complete community. We are not building a mall here, there is Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta, Marina Mall that are close by. We decided to have a mosque and a multi-use park, which would add value to the community,” Bin Sulayem told XPRESS.

“I have got a positive response from people for developing the park and, as of now, we have not taken any decision regarding other lakes. But I can assure that whatever it is, it would be according to what the community demands. We will retain the beauty of JLT.”

The park on lake C would be complete within two months, Bin Sulayem added.