Khabar Khair (Only Good News) – Fatma Rashad
Investment is the goal of Yemeni businessmen who aspire to a guaranteed profit in exchange for providing services and various goods to consumers in Yemen, after investment opportunities in many areas have diminished, which prompted many investors to invest in malls in Aden and other Yemeni governorates.
The malls provide thousands of job opportunities for young people in various jobs such as shops or work in the technical and service sectors related to this type of investment.
The needs of people who go to these markets vary according to their nature. Some of them are looking for a job opportunity to face the burdens of living life, and some others are looking for entertainment, comfort and shopping. The mall movement is active in Aden with the influx of Yemenis from the neighboring governorates.
Umm Muhammed (a citizen who lives in the city of Aden) says, “The malls in Aden are predominantly touristic, where the family finds entertainment in addition to shopping”.
Umm Muhammed adds, “The presence of malls meets the needs of diverse families, especially the needs of children, which are not limited to clothing, but that children find fun and entertainment in malls, and I, because I am a mother, feel reassured in these places as they are suitable for entertainment, and in light of this situation we try to make our children happy through the games provided by the malls in Aden”.
Mall at a Cost of 11 Million Dollars
In the coming months, Aden is awaiting the opening of the “Al-Ostoura Mall”, at a cost of $11 million, and this mall will provide thousands of opportunities for young people. The owner of the mall, the investor, Hasan Al-Dabbani, told “Khabar Khair” (Only Good News), “This mall should have been established twenty-seven years ago, and it would have been the first commercial center in the governorate of Aden, but because of many obstacles we were late, and we obtained a license for the other land, to be a parking lot, and then we started work, so it became “Al-Ostoura” mall”.
Al-Dabbani says, “This mall will be considered a quantum leap in the world of commercial malls, and will meet the needs of Adeni families, and our choice of its location came after a study we conducted for many years and the dream will come true soon”, stressing that the mall will include 200 shops and provide 1,000 job opportunities.
Chamber of Commerce Calls for Calance in the Distribution of Malls
The Chairman of Aden’s Chamber of Commerce, Abu Bakr Ba’ Obaid, stressed that “investment through malls in Yemen is one of the most important sectors of investment, because it benefits the country, as it alleviates the problem of unemployment that society suffers from”.
Ba’ Obaid revealed the reason of the problem in building malls, saying, “The problem of malls is in choosing the places to build them, and this causes imbalance among them, as the competitive process becomes unequal, for example, in the Mansoura Sheikh Othman area there is more than one mall, so why not open a mall or two in the district of Khormaksar, or three in Al-Mualla, and five in Crater? Then a balance is achieved in their distribution and coverage of the various districts of the Aden governorate, and I believe that if the General Investment Authority was stable, there would have been solutions that would strike a balance in the process of establishing these malls, and control the places where to build them”.
Majed Ali (an economic analyst) says about the mall projects that have increased dramatically in the governorate of Aden, “There is a tendency to invest in the field of malls in the recent period, especially in Aden, and the trend towards this new aspect of investment projects is profitable for its owners, especially if the choice of location is successful and takes into account the legal conditions procedures, such as obtaining licenses, providing the mall with a polarizing atmosphere for buyers, and good treatment. I believe that the international community is forced to encourage and support such projects to provide job opportunities and a qualitative leap for the country”.
A Deep Gap between Production and Entertainment
There are those who say that the country does not need commercial centers because it makes the members of society mere consumers who do not know how to direct it, so the country becomes consuming and away from productivity.
Radhya Muhammed says, “If the factories that were closed in Aden governorate were rehabilitated, there would have been better production projects than consumer ones”. Afra Al-Saeedi shared her opinion, emphasizing her words, by saying, “We need productive projects, not consumer ones, because projects like malls mean that we teach community members dependency, regardless of the job opportunities that are provided through these malls”.
Afra adds, “It is true that the mall projects made Aden appear beautiful due to the presence of entertainment venues, but they did not give an investment addition to Aden except that it made it a consumer people”.
With the deterioration of the currency in Yemen, there are investments that are moving in defiance of the difficulties it is facing. Mall projects may have promoted the consumption aspect and this is not desirable, but we must not lose sight of their importance as they provided job opportunities and met the needs of people in Aden and neighboring governorates.
For this, a balancing process must be achieved first in the correct distribution of these malls in the districts, and attention to the engineering structure of the mall, which must be appropriate, as there are malls which construction is similar to residential buildings.