20 FEBRUARY 2002

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Valletta’s balancing act

The fact that Valletta has precisely 3,000 registered households and 3,000 registered businesses serves only to highlight the importance of ensuring that a balance is maintained between the needs of both the residents and commercial sector.

Speaking as the forthcoming local council elections draw nearer, Valletta mayor Paul Borg Olivier admitted the occupants understandably have an element of caution when they hear about the plans to develop Valletta’s night time entertainment business, primarily because they do not want it to become another Paceville.

"For example, there was some concern when the Embassy complex opened," he said. "But perhaps one of the most important things is ensuring the night time entertainment is right for our city. It has to blend into the historical and cultural atmosphere of Valletta – coffee shops and restaurants rather than pounding nightclubs."

Dr Borg Olivier also stressed that it is a misconception to imagine Valletta is dead at night. He highlighted the Marsamxmetto side where there can be up to 500 people during a summer’s evening.

"Some areas are teeming with life at night, certainly not dead!" he said. "It is the commercial centre that dies down."

On top of this, other parts of the city are also gathering pace after dark.

"Catering in Valletta has risen by 50%, with a number of operators now opening in the evening, with an average of 1,000 covers," he said. "This shows that the business community is showing its belief in Valletta.

"The problem is that that people outside Valletta are still not aware of this."

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt