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NEW Year is only few days away and the festivities have already started since the beginning of the month. Every mall in the city offer big discounts and other attractive programs in order to attract more customers to come.

Besides taking holiday to other cities or countries, undoubtedly, shopping in big malls has been an option for people to spend their December holiday. This observable fact is also one of the reasons malls are mushrooming in big cities, each with unique facilities and benefits.

Being the capital city, Jakarta offers a complete array of local to international brands. A property consultant, Cushman & Wakefield Indonesia in it’s report said that many international retailers have opened their first outlets in Jakarta throughout this year including brands like Marc Jacobs, Club Monaco, Make Up Store, Velvet at Plaza Indonesia, Habitat Furniture, and Home Accessories at Seibu, Grand Indonesia, Aldo Collection. There are also brands which have established their new outlets, including Topshop Topmen, and Oakley at Grand Indonesia, Aldo Collection, Sebastian’s, BSC, and Domicile at Plaza Indonesia, Tissot, Canali, Longines, and Ivy at Plaza Senayan, Nike at Mal Puri indah and Gap at Mal Kelapa Gading.

If you want to find famous designers labels, Jakarta is filled with various top modern malls. Some of the lists are eX Lifestyle Center at Plaza Indonesia, Plaza Senayan, Senayan City, Pondok Indah Mall, Taman Anggrek Mall , Puri Indah Mall, Lippo Karawaci Mall, Kelapa Gading Mall, Pacific Place, Grand Indonesia, or fX Lifestyle X’nter, the newest one.

The growing number of malls in Jakarta also increases the competition between them and New Year would be the perfect time for the management to create more attractive programs than before. They are tailored according to the best moments of the month, Christmas and New Year.

Senayan City, for instance, since the first week of December, has offered a program called Midnight Sale providing opportunity for shopaholics to buy fancy goods with great price from 9pm to 12pm.

The tenants make use the event to spend all the remaining stocks they have and also to introduce new products which will be released in 2009. The event is joined with more than 190 brands, including Debenhams, Versace, Adidas, Zara, Dunhill, The Body Shop, Guess, Bottega Veneta, Masari, Massimo Dutti, Ted Barker, CK Calvin Klein, Gucci, and others.

Senayan City also enjoyable exhibitions and performances of a popular cartoon, Nickelodeon during the school’s holiday. The programs starts from December 12, 2008 until January 4, 2009.

Other mall, Semanggi Plaza also prepares a special program “Vibration Beneath the Sky”. Unlike other shopping centers which offer prices with great discounts, Semanggi Plaza will hold a party located in the Sky Dining area at 10th floor. “We hope to entertain guests during the New Year’s Eve beneath the open sky of the city,” said Leila Tania, PR Supervisor Semanggi Plaza.

During the event, the mall will present series of entertainment, including music performances and cabaret show, just to accompany guests until the countdown of the new year.

Pacific Place Jakarta has its own program to attract visitors. Starting from December 1 to 31, 2008, mall located in the business district of SCBD (Sudirman Central Business District) will present artificial snow which take place in the atrium. The mall imported the snow directly from US and the show itself being the first in Indonesia

Visitors can also enjoy different exhibitions for their amusement, including M Exhibition, PLEO Exhibition (Dinosaur Robot) and St Dupont Exhibition. For those photography lovers, the mall also organize two exhibitions, Greenviart Photo Exhibition and World Press Photo Exhibition of world’s photojournalists. The event starts from December 12 to 28, 2008.

The programs do not stop there. The mall has also provided special treatment for the F1 fans. Located in Ground Floor, visitors can enjoy the sensation of driving F1 car using the simulator from December 22, 2008 to January 4, 2009.

Considered as one of the new malls in Jakarta, Grand Indonesia is actually a historical building before it was established into a modern shopping center. Occupying an area of 250,000 m2 and a total retail area of 135,000 m2, this eight-storey building was once the oldest hotel in Jakarta, Hotel Indonesia during Indonesia’s first president Soekarno. In 1990, the historic hotel was unable to maintain its condition due to the establishment of new and modern hotels.

Being the biggest shopping center in Indonesia, this stylishly-built Grand Indonesia has also provided interesting programs and shows in welcoming Christmas and New Year.

fX Lifestyle Xenter, a mall combining shopping fortress and entertainment has been in the effort of being different with other malls since the beginning. While other malls close at 10pm, it closes everyday at 3am.

The mall, which was previously called Sudirman Place, offers many new concepts for visitors to enjoy. fPod, for instance, is one room where people can use it for various events from gathering, karaoke until business meeting. In the mall, we can also find a new amusement apparatus in the form of long transparent tube connecting the highest level to ground floor. Atmostfear with 72-meter long was mentioned to have spent Rp 13 billion where visitors get the chance to test their nerves to slide in the tube.

In celebrating the New Year, fX will offer “Urbanite Utopia”, a program providing various entertainment including musical performances from famous DJs until the countdown of the new year 2009 for only Rp 50,000. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!(Ely Alvaro Gibran)

Jakarta GLOBE, December 19, 2008