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Economy - Development | Travel - Leisure

Angola gets its first shopping mall

afrol News, 23 November - The first shopping mall ever in Luanda, known as Belas Shopping, is due to open on 14 December. The huge consumer palace, made possible by foreign investors and a quickly growing Angolan middle class, marks the normalisation of post-war Angola.

The first phase of the shopping mall project, which will open its doors in time for the holiday season, is to have 100 stores, eight cinemas, a restaurant area, banks, travel agents, attractions and 900 parking spots. It is expected to amply between 750 and 1000 people.

Belas Shopping, located in Talatona in the south of Luanda, has a construction area of 28,300 square meters and will open every day between 9 am and 10 pm, although cinemas were to have later opening hours. It will be the first large mall where Angolan consumers can find all kind of goods; national and imported.

The mall represents a total investment of US$ 35 million, financed by Brazilian and Angolan investors. These investors are mainly grouped in a consortium in which Angola's investment management company Hogi has a 70 percent stake and Brazil's construction company Odebrecht holds the remaining 30 percent.

Belas Shopping is to be managed by the Brazilian company Enashopp, which expects to have made a good investment in Angola. According to Enashopp, Luanda is "a city that is living trough a very special moment of growth and expansion. The construction of Belas Shopping adds to this transformation, bringing in new products and services of quantity and quality."

Initial forecasts point to Belas Shopping having, on average, between 5,000 and 10,000 visitors per day, according to the investors. Just a few years ago, this would represent the entire middle class of Luanda.

The establishment of a shopping mall in the Angolan capital is widely seen as a sign of the country's normalisation and rapid economic expansion. It is "a large symbol of development and modernity," adds Enashopp.

The growing number of rich and middle-income Angolans lately have increasingly turned abroad to look for luxury goods. In particular South African, Portuguese and Brazilian destinations have made good revenues on shopping tourists from Angola - not to mention airliners.

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