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  #1  
Old November 1, 2004, 08:54 PM
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Zobair Zobair is offline
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Default Dhaka\'s mega mall: a sign of progress or gaping class division?

So Bashundhara city- South Asia's largest mall, and the 12th biggest in the world (or so the developers claim!)- has opened to the public. I guess it is a matter of pride but I can't be sure! It is there because of demand from a growing middle-class (or is it upper middle-class?!) . But is everything all that hunky dory? Is the gap between the rich and poor decreasing or increasing? We have a burgeoning middle-class yet crime and corruption are at an all time high! What do you guys make of this? Do we really have a gnuine middle-class? Or is it just a myth and what we have are the filthy rich, less rich and the poor?

here is an article from BBC:

.................................
Up to 25,000 people a day have been visiting the first Western-style shopping mall in Dhaka, even though most of the stores are yet to open.

Bashundhara City has been built in the centre of Bangladesh's capital at a cost of more than $100m.


The developers say they have already recouped the construction cost by selling all 2,200 shop units.


"We've tried to make everything comparable to the malls in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia and Dubai," says Latiful Husain, the resident director of Bashundhara City Development.

"We think this is a step forward for Bangladesh."




The owners say the new mall is the largest in South Asia and the 12th biggest in the world.


It took six years to build and boasts a gym, a food court and an indoor theme park as well as Bangladesh's first multiplex cinema.

The vast central atrium is lit by a glass dome in the roof 60 metres across.


Middle class cash

"My country is rapidly developing and every day we are being exposed to new experiences and cultures," says 26-year-old mall-goer Mohammed Fazlul Farhad. "Young people like this Westernised culture."




The mall highlights class divisions - customers can see into a slum

"The difference is this public open space," says his friend Mohammed Didarul Hoque, also 26.



"You can sit here and pass time. There are not many places for us to do that in Dhaka."

As in India, there is a growing middle class in Bangladesh with money to spend.

"We know the very rich have always gone to Singapore and Dubai for shopping and they will continue to do so," says Mr Husain.

"It's the middle class we want. They have high ambition to go up and to buy good things."

But the majority of Bangladeshis remain desperately poor. Nearly half the population lives below the poverty line.


The customers shopping on the upper floors of Bashundhara City can see into a nearby slum.


One day I want a stall in there, says Mohammed Dulu Mia


In the street outside hawkers sell bananas from baskets and broken beggars crouch in the gutters.




"When I went in there I thought I was not in Bangladesh but in the developed world," says 25-year-old Mohammed Dulu Mia, who sells fried food from a roadside stall.

"I didn't buy anything but I hope, if I work hard, one day I might be able to have a fast food shop in Bashundhara City."

Abdur Rashid, a 55-year-old day labourer whose teeth are stained red from betel nut, sits on a rickshaw watching the shoppers coming and going.

"I have never been inside because we have very little money. There is a deep division between the rich and poor, but maybe in the future my grandchildren or great-grandchildren might be able to shop there.

"It depends on luck, if luck supports you anything might happen."


Source:

BBC

Edited on, November 2, 2004, 2:00 AM GMT, by pompous.
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  #2  
Old November 1, 2004, 10:09 PM
oracle oracle is offline
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I really don't have much to say.

but big hats off to Mohamed Dulu mia and Abdur Rashid.

- the bourgeoise has deserted you long time ago, take matters into your own hands

Edited on, November 2, 2004, 3:10 AM GMT, by oracle.
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  #3  
Old November 1, 2004, 11:51 PM
rafiq rafiq is offline
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there would be nothing wrong with this mall if the people who profit from it would give something back to those slums right next door - but they don't. That is what makes it obscene, not the mall itself, which is inevitable and possibly good.
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  #4  
Old November 2, 2004, 01:47 AM
fab fab is offline
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Given Dhaka's electricity problems, how the hell are they gonna power this thing? More load sharing I suppose *sigh*
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  #5  
Old November 2, 2004, 11:07 AM
rafiq rafiq is offline
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Rest assured they have their own power generators. With a $100M price tag, they can afford a few.
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  #6  
Old November 2, 2004, 11:19 AM
ZunaidH ZunaidH is offline
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Middle-class is a myth in Bangladesh. The fundamental thing middle class holds is values of society. I think we in Bangladesh are loosing a bit of that everyday. This mall does not make sense for a nation where people still die of hunger and cold in loads.
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  #7  
Old November 2, 2004, 11:20 AM
reinausagi reinausagi is offline
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I think the mall is for the good. Consider what it has done for the motivation of one 'Dulu Mia'- who one day hopes to stake claim to one of the stalls in the food-court. I live in Texas where the general consensus among the young as to what 'upward mobility' is, seems to be a six-pack and a pickup truck. Way to go Dulu Mia, I'd buy fried (a.k.a. heart-attack special) foods from you anyday!
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  #8  
Old November 2, 2004, 11:45 AM
oracle oracle is offline
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Quote:
I think the mall is for the good. Consider what it has done for the motivation of one 'Dulu Mia'- who one day hopes to stake claim to one of the stalls in the food-court. I live in Texas where the general consensus among the young as to what 'upward mobility' is, seems to be a six-pack and a pickup truck. Way to go Dulu Mia, I'd buy fried (a.k.a. heart-attack special) foods from you anyday!
same sentiment here...
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  #9  
Old November 2, 2004, 11:52 AM
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reverse_swing reverse_swing is offline
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I heard that Jamuna Group is going to make another shopping mall(Two 25 storied twin tower shopping complex near Khilkhet) which will be bigger than this Basundhora City.Is it true?




Edited on, November 3, 2004, 5:45 PM GMT, by reverse_swing.
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  #10  
Old November 2, 2004, 12:30 PM
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Well two very strong questions bothering my thoughts about this whole article thing and it's reactions!

Firstly.. It's very awkward that BBC suddenly decided to highlight this recent work of BD and publish such an elaborate & critically analized writing! It's not entirely true that Basundhara city has made a world of difference in the skyline of Dhaka.. rather in my view.. terribly mega scale projects has are coming up one after another for atleast the last 6-8 years.. and so many more are yet to come(like Jamuna city and so on)!!
(I'm not saying tht its something to be very very proud of.. rather it just proves how huge bulk amount of money some ppl in BD has really got!)

Secondly.. everyone here who are posting reactions in this thread... what are your thoughts about the massive investments in BD.. specially Dhaka & Chittagong & Sylhet in the Land developement & Mega-Construction projects??
How much of these are actually out of necessity and how much is coming from the Huge Thurst for Luxury that BD people hav already become well-known to possess??

Edited on, November 2, 2004, 5:33 PM GMT, by crickethorizon.
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  #11  
Old November 2, 2004, 01:12 PM
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Fazal Fazal is offline
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I heard it will create major traffic problem.
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  #12  
Old November 2, 2004, 02:14 PM
ZunaidH ZunaidH is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fazal
I heard it will create major traffic problem.

Fazal;
The traffic jam is not a speculation, it is reality.That road infront of Sonargaon is one worst streets in Dhaka. And that was before this thing was built. I am talking about history about 5 years ago. Today, I am sure it is unbearable. People living in Dhaka can perhaps provide most recent issues related to this shopping mall.
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  #13  
Old November 2, 2004, 03:04 PM
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reverse_swing reverse_swing is offline
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more about this mega mall
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  #14  
Old November 2, 2004, 04:19 PM
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The no good Limey morons at BBC can take their slum district observations and shove it up their gaping rear. Everybody on this earth knows that Third World countries are thriving paradoxes, and nothing but.

In regards to the Mall itself, such grandiosity is just the reflection of times - the reign of Capitalism. However, the only reason why it will become an economic viability is because of the inflated wallet size that a segment of the middle class carry. And that is part of Bangladesh's economic expansion (yes, that can happen) over the past 30 years, but predominantly due to the ever expanding influence of corruption.
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  #15  
Old November 3, 2004, 01:12 PM
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Ahmed_B Ahmed_B is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by pompous
So Bashundhara city- South Asia's largest mall, and the 12th biggest in the world (or so the developers claim!)...
DILEMMA!!
how funny it is and how easily we get eye-washed!!

Yes it is a massive claim.. yet so truthless!
Even if we take the countries like Malayasia,Hongkong, China in our count.. Basundhara City is quite MINOR compared to the Stupendous Malls found in the Enormously growing Business-Cities of those countries!!

The Developer probably is trying to use the South-East-Asia Range belt (India-Pak-Srilanka.. etc belt) and merely trying to eyewash the countrymen by using Sloguns like 'The Biggest'...
after all.. who's gonna look at the real picture so easily??!

and About the World's 12th??... I realy got serious doubts !!.. maybe it was rated as that from some SPECIFIC technical point of view(which the developer wil certainly try to obscure).. but surely can't be in terms of Commercial Space Area/Volume!!
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  #16  
Old November 3, 2004, 01:40 PM
sheshprohor sheshprohor is offline
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Hortaal er shomoy vangchur korar moto ekta jinish pawaa gelo.

Made of glass...hmmm....sweeeeeeeeeet.




Prohor
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  #17  
Old November 3, 2004, 02:25 PM
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Nasif Nasif is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by sheshprohor
Hortaal er shomoy vangchur korar moto ekta jinish pawaa gelo.

Made of glass...hmmm....sweeeeeeeeeet.




Prohor
hahahaha LOL...
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