Published On: Thu, Jan 17th, 2013

Martina: I see Sambil as a chance

WILLEMSTAD – Both Premier Daniel Hodge (PS) and Minister of Economic Development, Steven Martina (Pais) spoke positively yesterday at the festive opening of the sales office of Sambil in Veeris on the arrival and construction of the Venezuelan shopping mall. According to them, Sambil will stimulate the economy and the mall will create jobs. Hodge held a brief welcome speech at the opening of the office on Veerisweg. Also Sambil director, Alfredo Cohen, took the floor, announcing that the shopping center under construction is expected to open its doors in February 2014. The invitees were then given a presentation on Sambil and a tour of the office, where the commercialization of the mall will start officially as of today. “You can view such mega projects as a threat or a chance, and I choose for the latter”, Martina said after the festivities.

Impact study

However, according to a previous impact study from the Ministry of Economic Development, the number of tourists must show a continual growth if Sambil is to have a positive development on the economy of Curaçao, otherwise shops from the city center would have to relocate to the mall or close down due to competition. “We will have to work hard on the influx of tourism in the coming period”, said Martain. “Chata and CTB for example are already developing a product focused on the Columbian and Venezuelan market, a so-called ‘shopping experience’. Sambil could certainly be an additional instrument to promote this on Curaçao. To make Sambil successful the pre-conditions must be arranged as good as possible.” Cohen views his mall as an additional puller for tourists. He reported he would also negotiate with tour and cruise operators.


Besides Hodge and Martina, several former politicians also attended the opening, including premier Gerrit Schotte (MFK) and minister of Traffic, Transport and Regional Planning, Charles Cooper (MAN). Hodge thanked them for their efforts in getting Sambil to Curaçao. The building permit was issued to Sambil in September under Schotte and Cooper’s regime. Also present at the opening were former MFK-ministers Jacinta Scoop-Constancia, Abdul Nasser El Hakim and George ‘Jorge’ Jamaloodin, plus several members of the Cohen-family, who own the Sambil-chain, and the architect of the building.


In total, Sambil promises 156 store units, 4 restaurants with terrace, a food court, 8 cinema halls, 4 covered plazas and 1400 parking spots. Real estate office Century 21 assists Sambil in renting the units. “Sambil’s success concept is a good ‘product mix’ of exclusive and less-exclusive brands. Some of these shopping chains explicitly seek local partners. Local entrepreneurs are also interested and introducing several brands or setting up shops here”, said Pamela Nas-Winkel from Century 21. The office is open for rental possibilities or information on the project, from Monday to Saturday: nine a.m. to five p.m.

Zara shop at Sambil

Although officially the rental of units only started yesterday, Century 21 has already received an official confirmation, namely for the largest block in the mall, for three shops from the Spanish concern Inditex: namely Zara, Bershka and Massimo Dutti.

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