MIM Ineffable Miami Fall 2020: Doral by Mohan Yatham

Student Bio

Photo captured during a medical mission trip to Costa Rica. Photo by Mohan Yatham/ CC BY 4.0

Howdy! My name is Mohan, and I’m a senior pre-med undergraduate at Florida International University. I major in Biology and minor in Business and Chemistry. I want to pursue a dual degree MD/MBA in the future. Throughout my undergraduate career, I believed that exploring is the foundation of a new beginning. Over the past decade, I lived in multiple places, including India, New Jersey, Rochester, Daytona Beach, Orlando, and Miami! This allowed me to gain insights into various regions and local traditions. I’ve always wanted to learn more about the culture and history of Miami. As a part of the Honors College, I am thrilled to share my experience and exploration of Doral on this page!

Geography

Photo edited by Mohan Yatham/ CC BY 4.0

The City of Doral is located in Miami-Dade County in the center of South Florida with boundaries of majorly populated Cities like Fontainebleau, Miami Springs, Tamiami, Hialeah, and West Miami! Due to its location, significant landmarks such as the Miami International Airport and Downtown Miami are easily accessible due to the city’s convenient infrastructure and roads. The City of Doral occupies approximately 15 square miles and is a home for more than 68,000 residents and 100,000 people that actively work within the city. Some of the nation’s largest corporations, such as the Carnival Corporation, Leon Medical centers, The Trump organization, Miami Herald, and Univision, are principal employers for the City of Doral. Doral is a thriving neighborhood with over 10,000 businesses featuring entertainment day and nightlife with exciting shopping and entertainment complexes and delicious South American restaurants. Due to the majority of Hispanic presence in this vicinity, the demand for popularity for South American restaurants has grown exponentially. This diverse community is a place for everyone to visit and explore the City of Doral.

History

Doral is one of the 34 municipalities in Miami-Dade County. During the late 1950s, Doral was a swampland that was part of the Everglades extensions. Real estate pioneers Doris and Alfred Kaskel developed 2,400 acres of land into a hotel and a country club featuring golf courses. The name for this venture was Doral, a mixture of the names of both Doris and Alfred. This structure was the first establishment in Doral and quickly gained traction for people to go and enjoy the day at the country club and hotel. Donald Trump later purchased this hotel, and it became the Trump National Doral Golf Club. The Saturnia International Spa (later named The Spa) was later added to the resort, and it became the largest Spa in Florida and one of the largest spas in the nation. In late 1980-2000, many real estate companies showed interest in developing communities for residential occupancy. The City of Doral rapidly grew as the housing increased, and so did the population. Due to the central location of the city in South Florida, Doral started to attract Fortune 100 companies and now is the hub for many corporations. Some of the largest corporations such as Carnival corporations, Trump National Doral Golf Club, Sears, PBS & J Inc, Perry Ellis International, Brinks, and many other corporations have headquarters in Doral. Not only the large corporations but also many mom-and-pop businesses, start-up businesses, gyms, restaurants, and entertainment hubs have been built as the population began to increase in the area. Florida International University’s Metropolitan center named Doral as the fastest growing city in Florida and 11th in the nation. Doral became an epicenter for world-class parks and cultural activities throughout many recent years, hosts over 50 financial institutions, and 30 chambers and Businesses organizations are present in Doral.

Demographics

Photo captured and edited Mohan Yatham/ CC BY 4.0

Doral city website projects the total population of Doral overpasses 71,000 with 29.7% ages 0-19, 21.5% aging 20-34, 34.3% aging 35-54, and 14.4% over 55. The median age is 34.2 based on the U.S. Census Bureau and Florida Bureau of Economic and Business (BEBR) estimate of 2019. Due to the vast diversity of cultures in South Florida, Doral’s majority Hispanic population comes from Venezuela. The large Hispanic community directly reflects on the fact that about 90.9% of the population in Doral speak Spanish. Doral stands as the second-highest percentage of Venezuelans and the sixth-highest percentage of Columbians in the United States. An interesting fact is that about 65% of Doral residents are foreign-born. Out of the 71,000 individuals, about 52.1% are female, and about 47.9% are male demographics. The number of households in the City of Doral is about 17,833. According to the U.S census, the owner-occupied housing unit rate is 47.8%, with a median value of owner-occupied housing units of about $393,900. The median income for a household in the City of Doral is about $79,200, which is 24% higher than the United States’ median income. There are over 14,000 businesses established in Doral with a wide range of services and products.

Landmarks

Doral Central Park

Photo captured and edited Mohan Yatham/ CC BY 4.0

The largest park in the City of Doral is located in the heart of Doral, covering 82-acre green spaces and scenic lake views that are ideal for friends and family gatherings and a hub for many local events. This park includes 0.9-mile walking/running trails, soccer field, basketball field, football field, tennis, an exercise station, tables, and grills for a great picnic day! Many events occur in Doral Central Park, such as Drive-In movies, wellness programs, farmers’ markets, holiday lights, boot camps, and even art exhibitions. The Doral Contemporary Art Museum (DORCAM) exhibits contemporary art larger than life sculptures and urban intervention, including monumental sculptures installed in Doral Central Park, Downtown Doral, and many landmarks within Doral. The art exhibition will be available in June 2021 for public viewing. Contemporary artists from around the globe will display in the art exhibition. It is fascinating to see art activities that partake in a local community that can educate stories through art.

Miami International Mall: 

It is undeniable that Miami is one of the most diverse communities in the world. Located near the Miami International Airport (MIA), to balance everyone’s needs, the Miami International Mall features many activities, various food courts, home to top retailers in the world. The mall covers over 1 million square feet with over 140 trending retailers and fashion brands, including Alex and Ani, Express, Forever 21, Gap, Guess, Hollister, Perry Ellis, Pandora, PINK, The Disney Store, Swarovski, Tous, Victoria’s Secret, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Sears, and H&M. Miami International Mall includes 22 eateries including BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse and The Knife, and also local authentic Hispanic tastes. 

Downtown Doral

Photo captured and edited Mohan Yatham/ CC BY 4.0

Downtown Doral features some of the finest shopping, restaurants, homes, offices, schools, and are all connected within 250-acres, which are easily walkable from one place to another. All of the buildings share a typical contemporary Miami architecture and feature some monumental sculptures. The picture above shows the holiday-themed decoration, which creates a festive season for the community. There are over 70 shops and restaurants, including 1 million square feet of offices and luxurious residential apartments. Downtown Doral is a recent development and shows the city’s progression by adding newer homes and businesses, yielding more jobs and flow of the economy. The entire vicinity area is green and brilliant with trees built-in design and designated place for electric vehicles. The interest in electric and solar power would far benefit our climate for the years ahead!

Transportation

The City of Doral implemented a new Doral Trolley as local transportation to shopping centers, restaurants, parks, and recreation connecting to the Metrorail. The Doral trolley system provides a real-time trolley tracker and information about the trolley’s routes and actual status. The tracker can be operated via mobile through the Doral city app. This trolley covers significant landmarks, including midtown Doral, Palmetto Metrorail station, Doral government center, Downtown Doral, Miami Dade College West Campus, City Place, Dolphin Mall, Miami International Mall, and Florida International University. The trolley is closed only on some significant national holidays. 

Food 

Doral is notoriously known for its Hispanic culture and primarily South American food. Some of the most famous restaurants in Doral include a Peruvian and Latin style restaurant called Pisco y Nazca and El Pollo Inka Miami. Many local favorite food places such as Taco Rico Tex-Mex are seen in the picture above. This place is authentic and famous for its delicious Mexican food. If you are an Arepa lover then Arepas at La Uchirena are the most famous local place for Arepas. Many healthy food enthusiasts might prefer Robeks, which is known for healthy treats and smoothies!

Businesses 

Doral is home for over 10,000 local and international businesses. Businesses from many industries and areas such as adult day cares, auto services, barber shops, beauty and spas, car dealers, churches, electronics, dance studios, dining, financial services, fitness, home services, law firms, healthcare facilities, pet services, printing, realtors, and many more retailers are actively open to residents and non residents of Doral. It is estimated that the total merchant wholesale merchant sales in a year grosses over $35 million. 

Summary 

Doral is located in one of South Florida’s most abstract areas, surrounding significant towns and populations. The city of Doral is a home for thousands of individuals, primarily Venezuelans. The community was built by attracting entrepreneurs and corporations to develop and expand the potential of the city. Most of the town has been developed over the past two decades; hence we can observe the modernistic communities that are green and glorious. The central park is one of the most fascinating parts of Doral due to the presence of multitude of activities, sceneries, and most importantly the community events that take place occasionally. One of the awaited events for Doral is the contemporary art exhibition by the Doral Contemporary Art Museum (DORCAM) that will be available for public viewing in June 2020. The prevalence of the vast hispanic population in Doral is one of the main reasons for its current state. The South American restaurants are famous for their authenticity and the home taste of hispanic nation. The city of Doral has an interesting program for their residents, which is the city mobile app that allows the residents to claim any issues that may partake in the community. Additionally, I noticed many homes in the modern style which are interesting due to the unique designs that resemble the communities of Doral. All of the latest developments seem to follow a similar pattern. Most of the newer developments follow a green protocol, which would have a tremendous impact on our climate. Overall, I found that the City of Doral holds a crucial presence in South Florida due to the immense developments that have been done in recent years to improve the standard of living and embrace Hispanic culture. The City of Doral maintains a balance of day life activities and nightlife actives with recreation and futuristic developments that will only grow in the future and therefore increase the prevalence of the City and attract more people to the city!

Citations

“U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Doral City, Florida.” Census Bureau QuickFacts, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/doralcityflorida. 

“Downtown Doral in , FL.” In , FL, http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/thing-to-do/shopping/downtown-doral/16228. 

Museum, Doral Contemporary Art. “Art Museum – Doral, Florida.” DORAL CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM, dorcam.org/. 

“Doral Business Directory.” Florida Shopping Guide, flshoppingguide.com/doral-business-directory/. 

“Dining News in Doral.” Dining News in Doral · City of Doral, http://www.cityofdoral.com/visitors/dining-in-doral/. 

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