The Weekly Leaks: The ABC-Le Mall Race in Dbayeh

ABC Dbayeh was the first mall in Lebanon. I’ve spent many hours crying there as a child, after hours of shopping with my mom and aunts. It was the nightmare place I could never navigate alone. However, over the years, I’ve grown to love ABC Dbayeh and must confess that whenever I’m serious about buying something and shopping, it is my prime (and only) destination.

ABC Dbayeh has undergone a lot of transformations over the years, and is virtually unrecognizable now. More spacious, lotsa natural lighting and a whole bunch of new restaurants like Leila, Casper & Gambini’s, Nestle Toll Booth, Roadster and Napoletana. It also has everything you need, from accessories, clothes, sports utilities, books and loads more.

However, a mere 300 meters away, Le Mall Dbayeh is under construction, with 8 floors for a 4-story mall, and several buildings specified as residential areas and office spaces. What has been confirmed is that a cinema multiplex is going to be opening there, rumored to be larger than CityMall’s Cinemacity, is set to open there. Here are some pics I shot on May 11th of Le Mall’s construction progress

Le Mall’s construction was set back due to sea water leaking into the planned mall’s foundations. This grave incident let ABC Dbayeh breathe a sigh of relief, and allowed the temporary locations for Roadster and Leila to the East of the complex. However, people were shocked to see these two restaurants were forced to relocate to the Northern part of ABC, months after opening in the initial area. Days later, construction began in the East section of ABC, and is now, as you can see, well underway. A Grand Cinemas multiplex is also planned here, which, also, is supposed to eclipse Cinemacity in grandeur. Here are some pics of the ABC Dbayeh expansion project taken by me on May 11th, before we attempt to discuss why this change was put into effect so hastily.

This was sparked by the hasty and efficient rectification of the leakage issue in Le Mall. ABC realized it had much less time than initially assumed, and that the opening date for Le Mall was going to be in the last quarter of 2011 or early 2012.

Like the other 124,999 cars that pass through there everyday, it’s been very interesting for me to watch this race as I drive by (if you can call it a race that is, since “Kfoury” contracting is working on both). But, this poses many questions about the future of this duo-mall phenomenon, both equipped with the finest shops, restaurants and soon enough cinemas.

As a proud champion of capitalism and the free market, this is a dream come true! Two major malls, 5 minutes from my home, and 30 seconds apart. I don’t have to settle for anything, and neither do any of the shoppers/diners/moviegoers. If there’s just a Starbucks at ABC, there’ll maybe be Costa or Carribou in Le Mall, and you catch my drift.

Another awesome thing is the closeness to one of Beirut’s major suburbs and the Maten caza, which means no traffic! It also means that if our beloved warring factions decide to burn tires or some other brainless acts in Beirut, where apparently most of the mentally feeble partisans decide to live, these areas will not be affected with temporary hysterical fits of civil wars.

This area will join the likes of the Antelias boom, the spontaneous exodus of major clubs to the Citymall area and Jounieh’s resuscitation, helping people and businesses migrate away from Beirut. Perhaps, this is on of the upsides of absurdly gulf-standard-high real estate in Beirut proper: the migration away from the pollution-traffic-infested capital.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I for one, am super-excited! Also, feel free to bash my capitalism confession all you silly communists and socialists! =D

Feel free to like the Weekly Leaks page, where you can submit your own Leaks and our team will make sure it is pursued and properly leaked! =D


  1. says

    I’m really excited about the cinemas opening. Cinemacity treat their customers like crap and their prices are too high (Grand Cinemas’ tickets are still cheaper, right?). Substantial competition in the area is long overdue aslan.

    Also, a cinema I don’t have to drive an hour to get to = win 😀

    • says

      Exactly! And yes, they’re much cheaper than the $10 and 13,000 tix, and 30 minutes of ads on top of that! Cinemacity is going overboard…

  2. says

    I guess Le Mall is more strategically placed since it’s farther from the bridge, so people would find it easier to take their right and park the car. However ABC’s reputation and prestige might overshadow Le Mall’s. It would be interesting to see the outcome… they will probably coexist peacefully :)


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