Well, well, well. Hell hath no fury like an expat mum scorned. Yesterday on the popular facebook group, Muscat Where Can I Find, a question was asked:
Does anyone have details of MGM management? Completely insane - before 10am in the morning (before the shops even open) and the carpark is completely FULL apart from the top floor. There are cars 'illegally' parked all over the place making this like an obstacle course :(
It is clearly all the staff and office staff parking like this - what about the CUSTOMERS?!?! :(
Now, I've blogged about the parking situation in the MGM mall before, a year ago here, and absolutely nothing has happened to improve the situation in 12 months. 12 MONTHS, and people are still finding it very hard to park, and people are blocking all sorts of life safety bits and pieces and putting everyone in danger.
The above question that was posted in the MWCIF group attracted over 100 likes and over 80 comments so far. Literally everyone was saying the same thing - they don't go to the mall any more because parking is such a pain. The complaints kept on pouring in, and then they spilled over onto the official MGM facebook page and not one single response from the management.
Well, there was one sort of response, they hid the post (if you go to their facebook page you won't find the complaints in the post, but if you click here, you'll still find it) and they also disabled any further comments on that post.
Excellent. Let's just hide that and mute them too, pesky customers.
Retail space rent in the mall is the literal life blood for the business, without it, they will not be able to operate their business, so it really does beggar belief that so little care and thought was given to the parking situation in the mall. Someone really fucked up their calculations. And the Muscat Municipality quite possibly shouldn't have accepted the plans with such a small number of parking spaces.
As everyone will probably know (or perhaps you didn't) there are actually 2 major levels of parking, before the multiple stories of parking up the side by the Carrefour / Cinema. The lower level is reserved for residents of the complex (people that live there) and the office space. Like many people have said, go to MGM at 9am and you still won't be able to find a parking space. This means that quite simply, people are either dumping their cars there and going on holiday (which does happen) but mostly, the parking spaces are taken up by people who work there - because the management obviously vastly under estimated the number of parking spaces required for the office spaces that are now leased.
I understand that most of the lower level parking reserved for office space tenants has been snapped up by
Nawras Ooredoo (I still don't like that name) and so every other office, and still a lot of Ooredoo employees have to park in the customer parking spaces, which is causing the issue.
Now, lets say you lease retail space for a shop. You're going to be paying a premium to be in one of the countries largest mall's because you're supposed to get increased foot-falls due to a large number of retail shops being located together, which attracts a larger crowd.
Except, no one is going to the mall because there is literally nowhere to park. I'd be pissed if I was leasing space there, and I'd be looking to move out ASAP, and a number of businesses have left already, and I'm sure more will go.
The Avenues mall is opening next week on the 18th of May (more on that soon) and I understand that about 50 stores will be ready at the time of opening. I wonder how many businesses will be switching from MGM to The Avenues, or in later months, Panorama Mall? Parking is a very important commodity when you're selling retail space, without parking, in an environment like this that has little to no public transport, you are not going to be able to deliver the foot-falls that would justify a premium in retail rent.
MGM better come up with a solution to its parking woe's or its gonna be the next Markez al Bahja.