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Wednesday, December 27, 2006 

The Old City's Eighth Gate: a $500m development - the largest shopping mall in the Levant

Ok, se we know the Old City of Damacus only has seven gates - the entry points into the historical centre. But now the city is getting the Eighth Gate.

Don't worry, it's just a name. The development is taking place about 15 minutes outside the Old City, in Yarfour. And it will create the largest shopping mall in the Levant.

The 500 million dollar project (26 billion Syrian Lira) also features two office buildings and four residential properties.

It is being built by Emirates-based companies Emaar and IGO, and they say they want to recreate Dubai luxury in the Levant. Some of the houses will be on the waterfront, and the shopping mall will be built in the style of the Damascus Old City. Access to the whole complex is through an Old City style gate.

The Eighth Gate is due to open in Spring 2007.

I'm sure this would be a big boon to some parts of the economy, but I'm not sure how good it is having more Western style shopping malls and consumerism permeating even more in Syrian society. Having the mall built in a kitsch ( I hope I spelt that right!) old style Damascene architecture also makes me squirm. Any news who is the local partner in Syria? As we all know somebody somewhere has to have his cut otherwise this would never have happened.

We should be sure that the owners will pay realstate taxes which can help low income Syrians shop in this mall.Be sure that they pay income tax on their profits.

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  • Written by sasa
  • From Damascus, Syria
  • From Damascus to London via Beirut. Based in and out of the central Damascene hamlet of Saroujah. News and feelings from the streets every day. I'm talking rubbish? Leave a comment. Welcome to the information democracy. See below for info about this site.
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