The largest mall in Africa has been opened at the Moroccan city of Casablanca .The project is a joint venture with Moroccan group Aksal and Al Jedaie group of Saudi Arabia; it is worth $242 million and spans 10 hectares of land in the main port city overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Mall developers anticipate 14 million visitors per year, generating a turnover of five billion dirhams. According to site manager Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch, the shopping centre created 5,000 direct jobs and 21,000 indirect jobs. More than 100,000 people were involved in its construction, she added.
“The main idea was to build a mall for people where all Moroccans and tourists who come to Morocco can feel as if the mall is becoming part of their experience. For Moroccans, it is almost like an extension of their living room. For tourists, it is another reason to say that Morocco is quite a unique country. It is not only the old traditions of the Medina, the surprise, the souks, the markets that you have there with their smells and the spices, the beautiful colors, but is also a sign of modernity,” said mall architect Davide Padoa. The mall houses about 600 international brands, from high-end fashion shops to restaurants, as well as an aquarium, an ice rink, and the continent’s first IMAX cinema.