Claudia Tarazi poses for a picture in downtown Beirut. (The Daily Star/Grace Kassab)
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Claudia Kassab Tarazi is not a woman of small dreams. The 40-year-old left a successful post in Dubai only a few years ago and took a leap – a big one at that. She is now the founding partner and managing director of Retail Consulting Group, a retail consulting firm specializing in the development of shopping centers. Shopping center specialists work with both the mall developer and the architect, beginning with the location of the project and moving on to the mall's mixed use, as it could include offices and even a hotel.There are different types of shopping malls to consider: super-regional malls such as the Dubai Mall, which attracts shoppers from across the region and even the world; regional malls, which are smaller in size, and community and neighborhood malls. Once the shopping center opens, specialists advise on choosing a mall manager, a marketing team, and a facility management team.Working as a shopping center specialist also requires certain skills, most notably social ones.
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