Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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The Media Line: Middle East’s Largest Design Center Opens in Judean Desert

Middle East’s Largest Design Center Opens in Judean Desert

DCITY complex near Ma’ale Adumim features events, boutique hotel, theme park and hundreds of stores

By Maya Margit/The Media Line

A colossal new tribute to modernity has risen in the heart of the Judean Desert: DCITY, the largest home design center in the entire Middle East.

Located just east of Jerusalem in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumiman area claimed by both Israel and the Palestiniansthe DCITY Mall features hundreds of stores, restaurants and a luxury hotel.

“This is a huge complex over 1.6 million square feetand it’s the biggest home design center in the [region],” Penina Revach, CEO of DCITY, told The Media Line. “We’re also providing several professional services for those working in areas connected to the construction sector, such as architects and [interior] designers, who receive incredible added value here.”

The massive 750 million NIS ($232 million) project took nearly three years to complete and was funded by Kass Group, one of the largest investment firms in Israel and the country of Georgia.

It also includes a large-scale theme park called Magic Kass, which will open in the coming weeks, as well as a boutique hotel, slated to open in October.

DCITY Mall officially opened this week.

To celebrate, some 250 artists and performers took part in an opening festival with hundreds of shows over three days.

Though constructed over the Green Line, according to Revach the project is not politically motivated and Palestinians with permits to legally enter Israel also will be welcome to visit.

“Everything is according to Israeli law,” Revach explained. “Whoever can enter Jerusalem can also enter this mall. Everyone is welcome.”

Danielle, a resident of neighboring Ma’ale Adumim, visited the complex for the first time with her two small children.

“This is an amazing project,” she told The Media Line. “From our house nearby, we could see it being built up until it got to this point.”

Thousands poured in to the mall during opening week, including a few tourists who had managed to enter Israel before stricter COVID-19 restrictions came into effect as a result of an ongoing outbreak.

“I think the mall appears to be comparable to some of the fanciest malls I’ve been to in America,” Harry, a tourist and lawyer from New Jersey, told The Media Line. “I’m also very impressed with how much people are complying with the mask mandate. I would’ve expected Israelis to be more defiant but they’re not.”

The complex will provide employment for roughly 2,000 people.

Among the 200 designer brands featured in the huge space is Akilov, a store with modern Judaica products and gifts designed by a Jerusalem-based artist.

Guy Sollel, one of the co-owners of the store, told The Media Line that he expectsDCITY to flourish in the coming months.

“We saw people coming from Ma’ale Adumim, Jerusalem, Rishon LeZion and the center of Israel,” he said. “Many people have started to hear about DCITY and wanted to see what’s happening.”

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