Wa­ter­front to per­son­ify Dubai

TravTalk - Middle East - - SPECIALFEATURE - TT Bureau

With a steady growth in var­i­ous projects to fea­ture the rich cul­ture and her­itage in a mod­ern set­ting, one of the lat­est de­vel­op­ments in Dubai is the Wa­ter­front Mar­ket. Lach­lan Gyde, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor—As­set Man­age­ment, Ithra Dubai, shares more details with .

Could you share a brief about the im­por­tance of Wa­ter­front Mar­ket to tourists?

The at­trac­tion plays a cen­tral role in bring­ing to­gether the rich­ness of Emi­rati tra­di­tions and the in­ven­tive­ness of mod­ern-day con­ve­nience un­der one roof to of­fer a unique blend of cul­ture and com­merce. Mar­kets serve as meet­ing places for peo­ple which bind them into the cul­tural and so­cial fab­ric of a com­mu­nity. We wanted to cap­ture these el­e­ments whilst giv­ing a re­fresh­ing new ex­pe­ri­ence to res­i­dents and tourists alike. We want to pro­vide tourists with an authen­tic Dubai lifestyle to get a slice of that daily ex­pe­ri­ence with ven­dors. This project is part of the Deira En­rich­ment Project, which seeks to trans­form Deira into a “bustling hub of life that will add to the al­ready rich ta­pes­try wo­ven by com­mu­ni­ties past and present.” Apart from that, the Wa­ter­front Mar­ket is de­signed to pro­mote the con­cept of fresh food shop­ping in the re­gion where butch­ers, vegetable traders, dried goods mer­chants and fish­er­men are at the fore­front of all ex­changes be­tween the con­sumer and seller. Vis­i­tors can find an ex­otic ar­ray of fish, seafood and fresh pro­duce from not just the lo­cal com­mu­nity but also from all cor­ners of the globe.

How can the tourism sec­tor ben­e­fit from such a mar­ket? Food, cul­ture, shop­ping and cos­mopoli­tan liv­ing are just some of the best in­gre­di­ents glo­be­trot­ters are look­ing for in their search for new ex­pe­ri­ences. Food, for in­stance, is be­com­ing part of a global trend in tourism. At the same time, shop­ping is also an es­sen­tial el­e­ment in driv­ing tourism growth in Dubai. The emi­rate has all the per­fect fea­tures that make an ideal venue for global food­ies given the mul­ti­cul­tural com­mu­ni­ties that have evolved and grown within it over the years. Wa­ter­front Mar­ket en­cap­su­lates all these fac­tors while en­sur­ing mod­ern ameni­ties and fa­cil­i­ties pro­vide the sup­port struc­ture that makes it a more con­ve­nient venue for re­cre­ation.

How will it ben­e­fit the ho­tels that will be com­ing up soon?

The unique com­bi­na­tion of a re­tail and cul­tural des­ti­na­tion is highly at­trac­tive to tourists. Ac­ces­si­bil­ity to a wide va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties which is con­tin­u­ously hap­pen­ing at the Wa­ter­front Mar­ket gives ho­tels an edge to at­tract tourists seek­ing for con­ve­nience and prox­im­ity to lo­cal cul­tures, apart from meet­ing tourists’ es­sen­tial needs dur­ing their stay. The Wa­ter­front Mar­ket’s ar­ray of ser­vices and re­tail shops com­ple­ment ho­tels’ of­fer­ings and can fur­ther en­hance their busi­ness as a choice ac­com­mo­da­tion for many tourists.

Will you be part­ner­ing with the prop­er­ties for a win-win sit­u­a­tion?

The Wa­ter­front Mar­ket has been de­signed for the com­mu­nity and is all about the com­mu­nity. We are con­tin­u­ously work­ing to pro­mote its of­fer­ings that could fur­ther en­hance the ser­vices of neigh­bour­ing busi­nesses, in­clud­ing ho­tels within the com- mu­nity and cap­i­talise on our unique ad­van­tages as a mod­ern hub for shop­ping. There are many op­por­tu­ni­ties which can be ex­plored to com­ple­ment our ser­vices with the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor and we are keen to tap those av­enues. We are pos­i­tive that part­ner­ships with the ho- tels sec­tor will ben­e­fit tourists seek­ing for a unique flavour of Dubai’s Deira com­mu­nity. What does it en­tail for do­mes­tic tourists to fre­quent the mar­ket?

The Wa­ter­front Mar­ket is an ideal venue for global food ex­plor­ers in Dubai. Auc­tions for fresh fish and meat are also an ex­cit­ing scene to wit­ness here ev­ery day, a lively tra­di­tion that has been in­her­ited for gen­er­a­tions by lo­cal traders. More­over, the sea­side view at the Wa­ter­front prom­e­nade of­fers a re­lax­ing at­mos­phere for fam­i­lies and tourists alike while they choose from a di­verse ar­ray of restau­rants and cafes. Our food fest cam­paign for two week­ends which fea­tured food trucks and pop-stalls of a range of cuisines have been a huge hit. A cruise restau­rant at the iconic dhow or Ara­bic sail­ing ves­sel is also an at­trac­tion for many tourists look­ing for a week­end ac­tiv­ity with fam­ily and friends. What is your target for the first year of op­er­a­tion? Eye­ing an av­er­age of 35,000 vis­i­tors per day, our target out­look for the first year is mainly to at­tract a strong com­po­si­tion of ven­dors of­fer­ing unique prod­ucts and ser­vices for vis­i­tors. We are now home to more than 500 re­tail­ers of fresh, dried and live fish and ven­dors con­tinue to in­crease with an av­er­age of 4-8 new shops open­ing monthly. We also aim to es­tab­lish reg­u­lar mar­ket go­ers liv­ing in Dubai.

Food, cul­ture, shop­ping and cos­mopoli­tan liv­ing are some of the best in­gre­di­ents glo­be­trot­ters are look­ing for in their search for new ex­pe­ri­ences. Wa­ter­front Mar­ket en­cap­su­lates all these fac­tors

Wa­ter­front mar­ket

Pier to the tra­di­tional Dhow cruise

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