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New Borj Fez shopping mall opens

Borg Fez Shopping Mall Borg Fez Shopping Mall Borg Fez Shopping Mall
On Saturday evening we went to the newly opened Borj Fez Shopping Mall next to the La Fiat roundabout in the Nouvelle Ville. We have seen the building work progress for over 3 years and now we finally get to see the fruits of all the work.
The crowds were overwhelming, as is usual with any new opening in Fez large numbers turn up for the first few days, then things settle down, but this was more on the levels of a big sporting event. The mall is much bigger than it appears from the outside, it has 3 levels, the basement 'hypermarche' level has a big Carrefour Supermarket and about 20 other shops, including a Travel Agency. The middle 'Shopping' floor has over 40 units with a not yet open Virgin Megastore (we could even see an LP of Tom Waits Rain dogs on a stand inside) and many well known brands including Beneton, Nike and a branch of the upmarket Fez cafe La Villa. The upper 'restaurants' floor has several food places including Burgerking, Pizza Hut, and a Japanese restaurant on the plan but we didn't see it on our visit. It also has a large children's play park. On all floors several shops had yet to open but most seemed in the final stages of fit out.
The large crowds made it difficult to get a good feel for the place, but it is certainly on a completely different level to any other shopping facility in the city. Of particular interest to many people were the escalators, (possibly the first ever in Fez), and many people seemed to very hesitant using them, indeed security guards were positioned at each one. Maybe we might see the London Underground solution where they had a one-legged constantly riding their first ever escalators, to allay people fears.
The crowds were so large that when we were returning to the medina at 11pm after watching Bayern Munich beat Dortmund in the Champions League Final, the traffic was still backed up Ave Hassan II due to the number of people still exiting the mall. It really changes the feel of the area, as most of the main shopping area have recently been located outside the centre (Hay Saada & both Marjanes), and it will be interesting to see the longer term dymanic on the old centre of the Ville Nouvelle.
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Posted 26 May 2013

 

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