Spread over ten hectares, the Morocco Mall in Casablanca is the largest shopping centre in Africa and the Middle East. The Aksal Group which is 100% Moroccan owned, has invested over 2 billion dirhams in the complex which will open October 20, 2011. Designed as an extension of the main Casablanca waterfront promenade, the shell-shaped shopping center also houses the first Galeriés Lafayette store in Africa, set like a gem in the shopping centre. The exterior is adorned with a number of skylights, open gardens, trees and water areas.
The Morocco Mall, which officially opens on October 20th in Casablanca, promises big things. The complex is characterized by the novel concept of "retailtainement" .
North Africa's First Imax Cinema
Not only will the mall offer a mix of retail outlets - fashion, beauty, luxury goods, culture, technology, health, interior design, food, crafts, services, leisure, relaxation and food - the site will have a huge entertainment component. This will include an aquarium, an adventure and amusement park, Imax, the first 3D cinema in North Africa and the third largest musical fountain in the world after North America and Asia.
The diversity of entertainment and leisure activities is extraordinary, with a food court with forty restaurants, a health: spa, an ice rink, Aquapark, and fun park.
If retail-therapy is your thing, then you will be well catered for as this mega centre will bring together brands such as Massimo Dutti, Zara, Mango, Promod, Okaïdi, La Vie en Rose, Aldo, La Senza, Stradivarius and many more. Dior and Gucci will be represented by boutiques. In total, more than 85 brands will be available, some for the first time in Morocco. In addition there ia a hypermarket with an area of one hectare.
In a major coup, the Askal Group have lured the famous retail outlet Galeries Lafayette with a flagship store of 10,000 m² and more than 320 brands of ready-to-wear clothing and beauty products. This is only the third store on foreign soil after Berlin and Dubai. Galeries Lafayette are not the only major French franchise to come to Casablanca. The well-known retailer Fnac is also on board, offering a huge selection of books, records, computers, audio, video and photography.
While this may provide numerous employment opportunities, it will be interesting to observe how it will affect the surrounding retail environment. In other countries, the opening of major shopping malls - designed so that the customer spends as long as possible in the complex - has led to the closure of nearby small businesses, which cannot compete with the advertising power of the major brands.