Twenty-five years ago (1993) City Shop started as a sixty square meter showroom on Kaya Nikiboko Noord. Nowadays, this daughter of the Dabboussi Holding B.V is a 4,000 square meter state-of-the-art retail compound on Kaya International offering everything for the home and the office including high-tech electronics and computers. Always looking for opportunities to expand his companies, owner and businessman Mohamad Dabboussi is currently developing Bonaire’s biggest car rental facility: the Dabboussi Tourist and Aviation Center.
The making of the Dabboussi Holding
After Mohamad Dabboussi immigrates to Bonaire from Lebanon in 1990, he starts his business career by founding Mueblería Antilliana. Within a few years the renowned furniture store becomes City Shop, selling home appliances, furniture, and electronics. In order to respond to the increasing demand of the Bonairean people the shop has to expand its range of products and services. The current location has the most potential. Thus, Mohamad Dabboussi establishes Dabboussi Real Estate, a construction company that will built the new City Shop and the luxurious villa compound Coral Garden Villas for tourists. By the year 2000 the old store moves to its newly built 375 square meter outlet at Kaya International. Three years later City Shop needs to add another 150 square meters to its showroom, and has to do that again in 2007. Keeping up with the demand, City Shop extends its showroom space once more in 2012 to become a state-of-the-art retail facility with a 1,500 square meter showroom, a warehouse, and office space. The multistore now sells almost everything you might need at home or in in the office: furniture, mattresses, and white, brown and grey goods.
In the meanwhile another opportunity presents itself: Avis Rent-A-Car Bonaire. Being an entrepreneur with a passion for motorized vehicles, Mohamad Dabboussi seizes that opportunity and acquires the car rental company.
With Avis joining the family in 2013, the establishment of a corporation to direct the efforts of all the companies (City Shop, Dabbousi Real Estate, and Coral Garden Villas) becomes necessary and the Dabboussi Holding sees the light of day.
While still busy negotiating terms for what is to become the Daboussi Tourist and Aviation Center at the airport, owner Dabboussi finds the time to yet found another business in 2017: Dabboussi Motors. This fifth company in preparation for the realization of the new center offers a new way of obtaining quality vehicles in Bonaire. Customers are able to either buy or get a long-term lease. Besides the new car, the lease package includes taxes, insurance, maintenance, and a three-year exchange for another brand-new car. The new building that is being built at Bonaire’s airport will also house the Dabboussi Motors’ headquarters.
“Investing in Bonaire also means supporting initiatives that help the community”
Investing in Bonaire
The Holding’s main goal is to keep on growing and providing the nicest possible customer service by improving itself and Bonaire. Living up to its motto ‘Smart shopping, better living’ City Shop and its services, such as home delivery, the installation of appliances, maintenance and repair of white and brown goods (air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, televisions, etc.), the assembly of furniture, and their support and warranty system emerged and developed to address the needs of the Bonairean people. For example, the multistore is the only shop on Bonaire that is authorized by the AFM (Dutch Authority for Financial Markets) to execute special financing options like the flex pay ‘buy now, pay later’. Although this service isn’t exactly free of charge or conditions. For every month a customer pays 1% interest on the total sum of the purchase with a maximum of eighteen months. But for people who just don’t have the immediate means to buy themselves a new fridge or washing machine, it is an attractive solution. Even if they have to be willing to give City Shop insight into their financial situation by handing over their last two salary pay slips and bank statements, and their identification. Another service, which is quite special on Bonaire, is City Shop’s warranty policy. According to the personnel of the store the warranty period is determined by the supplier or manufacturer and City Shop is not entitled to prolong or shorten for that matter the timeframe. City Shop does, however, have a maintenance and repair department with qualified and specially trained technicians, who may offer you the assistance you need.
Investing in Bonaire also means supporting initiatives that help the community. Whether it is about protecting Bonaire’s natural resources by buying diaries from the Friends of Nature Foundation or providing schools with laptops and tablets for their talent shows and best grades competitions or donating printers to sports clubs and money to foundations that help elderly people or sponsoring tickets for the less fortunate, or organizing social network contests on special dates like Carnival and Mother’s day, the holding and City Shop in particular has a yearly budget to help out Bonairean residents in need and show its appreciation for the island’s community.
The Dabboussi Tourist and Aviation Center
The latest project of the Dabboussi Holding has had challenges like the stormy aftermath from a passing hurricane that also delayed shipments with construction material and the sudden shortage of cement on the island, but is still right on schedule according to director Dabboussi. The three story building that will have its grand opening in November 2018, will offer tourists and Bonairean residents alike all the information, modern technology and comfort they might wish for as soon as they enter the air-conditioned building. In the basement the luxury carwash will make your car look like it’s brand-new and if it needs to be fixed the best car mechanics will try to solve the problem. The first floor will become the place to be to order one of Avis 162 cars. In this in total 2500 square meters terminal parents will have the time to discuss which car they like better or check up on their car, while their kids are having the time of their life in the luxurious kid’s corner. They might even look for one of the cultural excursions that are offered by different tour operators at the attractive booths at the side of the terminal or enjoy the delicious healthy snacks and drinks that are sold at the organic café. On the second floor with its astonishing panoramic view, aviation companies and other businesses will be able to rent offices and hold their meetings and conferences in the fully equipped conference rooms. Last but not least customers that are interested in buying one of the splendid vehicles of Dabboussi Motors will find a car of their choosing in Bonaire’s biggest car showroom at the front of the building.
The Dabboussi Tourist and Aviation Center not only will become the biggest car rental facility for the biggest car rental company on the island (Avis), but will also give the best possible service to both tourists and residents according to Mohamad Dabboussi. By doing so the holding is investing in Bonaire and its people, improving itself and the island, and growing on demand.